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Russian wheat export prices at fresh high

Reuters, 22.01.20

Export prices of Russian wheat reached their highest level last week since the season began in July due to demand from major customer Egypt and risks related to Russian proposals to introduce an export quota, analysts said.

Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, said last week it was looking to set a non-tariff quota for grain exports of 20 million tonnes for January-June. The proposal by the agriculture ministry is yet to be approved by the government, which unexpectedly resigned last week. It is unclear when the new government will be fully formed and how it will react to the proposed export restrictions.

“We believe that this decree would remain on the agenda (of the new government)," SovEcon agriculture consultancy said in a note, adding though that it was not sure if the draft will become a government decree. It also believes that Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev would keep his post in the new government team, which is yet to be announced.

Bangladesh, the third largest buyer of Russian wheat after Turkey and Egypt, said last week it would increase its wheat purchases from Ukraine if Russian grain becomes unavailable due to the quota.

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC bought 240,000 tonnes of Russian and Romanian wheat at its tender last week.

The price of Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content, loaded from Black Sea ports and intended for delivery in February, rose by $4 to $226 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, SovEcon said. Barley rose by $1 to $186 per tonne.

IKAR, another agricultural consultancy in Moscow, pegged wheat at $225 per tonne, up $4.5. Russia exported 24.5 million tonnes of grain, including 21.2 million tonnes of wheat, between the start of the 2019/20 season on July 1 and Jan. 16, SovEcon said, citing customs data.

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