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Russian wheat export prices rise on supply concerns

Reuters, 22.04.20

Russian wheat export prices rose last week due to concerns about supply after mid-May when officials expect the country's April-June export quota to be depleted, analysts said on Monday.

Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter, set a grain exports quota for April-June to guarantee domestic supplies against the new coronavirus outbreak, but wheat allocated for export has begun to run out quicker than anticipated.

Russia will suspend grain exports until July 1 once its quota of 7 million tonnes is exhausted, now likely to happen in mid-May, the agriculture ministry said last week.

Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content loaded from Black Sea ports and for the nearest delivery was up $6 to $231 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, SovEcon said. Barley rose $3 to $180 a tonne.

IKAR, another Moscow agriculture consultancy, pegged wheat at $232 a tonne, up $5. Prices for the new crop, which is due to arrive this summer, and delivery in late July fell by $3 to 199 a tonne.

Russia's online calculator shows that as of Monday only 4.0 million tonnes of grain remained available for export from the quota.

If Russia suspends exports in mid-May, Egypt's latest three purchases of Russian wheat with shipments due between May 15 and June 5 could be hit, Cairo-based traders said last week.

“At this stage, we believe that Russian exporters will be able to execute these contracts," SovEcon said.

It expects the quota to run out later than in mid-May and believes that the online calculator currently overestimates actual exports by as much as 600,000 tonnes.

Russia's grain union expects the quota to run out towards the end of May or in early June, it said on Monday.

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