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Russian wheat export prices jump ahead of tax launch

Reuters, 19.01.21

MOSCOW, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices rose sharply last week ahead of a new export tax imposed by one of the world's largest wheat exporters from mid-February, analysts said on Monday.

Moscow is trying to curb domestic food inflation triggered by the COVID-19 crisis by introducing a range of grain export taxes, with the wheat export tax of 25 euros a tonne from Feb. 15 to March 1 set to double from the start of March.

Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loading from Black Sea ports for supply before mid-February was at $298 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $23 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note.

Sovecon, another Moscow consultancy, said wheat rose by $25 to $286 a tonne while barley gained $11 to $231 a tonne.

"Feels like many traders remain short and are in a hurry to get grain and ship it before February 15," Sovecon added.

IKAR on Monday cut its estimate for Russia's 2020/21 wheat exports.

Risks for Russia's 2021 grain crop remain high despite good snow or rains in many winter wheat regions in the first half of January, Sovecon said, adding that cold weather expected in the south this week poses risks if it stays for more than a few nights.

Other Russian data provided by Sovecon and IKAR:

 Product:            Price at the end  Change from late 2020
                        of last week:  
 - Domestic 3rd      15,550 roubles/t              +475 rbls
 class wheat,                  ($209)  
 European part of                      
 Russia, excludes                      
 - Sunflower seeds      35,175 rbls/t            +1,900 rbls
 - Domestic             87,675 rbls/t            +4,175 rbls
 sunflower oil                         
 - export                    $1,260/t                   +$90
 sunflower oil                         
 - Soybeans             38,700 rbls/t              +600 rbls
 - white sugar,                $507/t                   +$18
 Russia's south                        
 ($1 = 0.8290 euros)
($1 = 74.2450 roubles)

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