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Russian wheat prices depressed by weak global benchmarks, competition

Reuters, 26.08.19

MOSCOW, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Export prices for Russian wheat fell last week due to a decline in Chicago grain futures, a global benchmark for the market, and stiff competition with other producers, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content fell $3 to $190 a tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis by the end of last week, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow consultancy, pegged wheat at $191 a tonne, down $2, with barley steady at $181 a tonne.

Russian wheat exports sped up last week compared with a week earlier, SovEcon said, citing customs data. Russia has exported 7.5 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2019/20 season, 3% less than in the same period of the previous year, SovEcon said. That figure included 6.3 million tonnes of wheat.

SovEcon added it had lowered its forecast for Russia's grain exports in the 2019/20 marketing season which started on July 1 by 200,000 tonnes to 41.7 million tonnes. Its estimate for wheat exports was raised by 200,000 tonnes to 31.6 million tonnes.

On the domestic wheat market, prices for third-class wheat rose by 75 roubles to 10,500 roubles ($159.10) a tonne at the end of last week in European parts of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works does not include delivery costs.

"While demand from exporters is getting somewhat weaker, domestic processors continue to replenish their grain stocks aggressively," SovEcon said. Domestic demand from exporters is down as some have fulfilled previously signed contracts.

Sunflower seed prices were steady at 20,100 roubles a tonne, and domestic sunflower oil prices remained at 46,500 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said.

While FOB export prices for sunflower oil remained at $735 a tonne, prices for new crop oil and for October shipment were around $705-710 a tonne, it added.

IKAR said its price index for white sugar from southern Russia rose by $1 to $358 a tonne.

($1 = 65.9950 roubles)

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