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Russian wheat prices fall for 7th week on strong competition

Reuters, 16.09.19

MOSCOW, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Export prices for Russian wheat fell for a seventh straight week last week due to strong competition with other producers, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content were down $1.5 to $185 a tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis by the end of the last week, agricultural consultancy SovEcon said. Barley was steady at $177 a tonne.

IKAR, another agriculture consultancy in Moscow, pegged wheat prices for the nearest supply at $184 per tonne.

IKAR said that it had kept its forecast for Russia's 2019 wheat crop at 75.0 million tonnes, but slightly raised its estimate for barley and maize to 20.1 million tonnes and 13.7 million tonnes respectively.

SovEcon also currently sees Russia's 2019 wheat crop at 75 million tonnes.

Russia has exported 10.3 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2019/20 season, 14% less than in the same period of the previous year, SovEcon said. That figure included 8.9 million tonnes of wheat.

On the domestic market prices for third-class wheat in the European parts of Russia had fallen 25 roubles to 10,425 roubles ($163) a tonne by the end of last week, SovEcon said. That price was on an ex-works basis, which excludes delivery costs.

Russian farmers have already sown winter grains for next year's crop on 49% of the planned area, or 8.5 million hectares.

"Weather conditions have improved in (Russia's) south which received some timely rains during the (last) week," SovEcon said. "Other regions remain too dry, but models predict enough rains in the next few weeks."

Sunflower seed prices fell sharply due to the arrival of the new crop, sliding 450 roubles to 19,650 roubles a tonne, while domestic sunflower oil prices fell by 225 roubles to 45,875 roubles a tonne, SovEcon added.

FOB export prices for sunflower oil for October shipment fell by $5 to $705 a tonne.

IKAR said its price index for white sugar from southern Russia was stable at $349.8 a tonne.

($1 = 63.9911 roubles)

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