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Turkish demand for Russian wheat may ease soon: traders

Business Recorder, 23.11.13

Turkish demand for wheat imports may slow down soon as it starts sales on the domestic market from state stocks, traders and analysts said on Tuesday, putting pressure on Russia's wheat exports outlook for the coming months. Turkey, the largest importer of Russian wheat in the current 2013/14 season, is offering local millers 1.2 million tonnes of wheat from 3 million tonnes it has in intervention stocks, a German-based trader said.

"This will reduce Turkey's import needs. Turkish millers, who have export wheat flour contracts and whose facilities are close to TMO (the state grain board) warehouses, could have some cheap and easy wheat supplies to reduce imports," the trader said. Turkish intervention sales may hit Russian wheat exports via the Azov Sea, Dmitry Rylko, the head of Russia's Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR), said in a note.

TMO was not immediately available to comment. Some Russian traders are also worried about decreasing supplies to Egypt, another traditional buyer of Russian wheat and the world's largest wheat importer, IKAR said. In a tender by Egypt's main wheat-buying agency GASC last week, the offer of Russian wheat was too expensive, but Russia still has volumes to offer Egypt, a Moscow-based trader said.

GASC set a tender on Monday to buy an unspecified amount of wheat from global suppliers for shipment on December 11-20. The results are expected after 3:30 pm local time on Tuesday. Export prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were down $5 to $255 per tonne in the Azov Sea last week compared with a week earlier, IKAR said.

In the Black Sea prices rose to $283-285 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis from $282 a week earlier, while maize (corn) prices were flat at $198-200 per tonne, it added. Russia, officially expected to export about 20 million tonnes of grains this 2013/14 marketing year, has already sold 12.7 million tonnes of grains, including 10.1 million tonnes of wheat and 600,000 tonnes of maize, between the start of the season on July 1 and mid-November. Russia's prices for sunflower seeds rose 200 roubles to 9,500 roubles ($290) per tonne last week, SovEcon agriculture analysts said. Export prices for sunflower oil were flat at $900-910 a tonne on a FOB basis in the Black Sea.

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