Russian wheat export prices stable in quiet trade

20.11.2017

Russian wheat export prices were broadly stable last week due to quiet trade, although Egypt, the world's largest wheat importer, agreed a large purchase of Russian wheat, analysts said on Monday.

Egypt's state grain buyer GASC bought a total of 240,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in an international tender on Nov. 16 for Jan. 1-10 shipment.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content for December delivery were $191 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, down $0.5 from a week earlier, agriculture consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said wheat and maize (corn) prices were unchanged at $192 per tonne and $166 a tonne, respectively, while barley prices fell $1.5 to $193.5 per tonne.

CME Group said last week it would launch Black Sea wheat and corn futures based on Platts price benchmarks to extend its presence in a booming export region.

This contract has more chance of attracting liquidity than another Black Sea contract, which CME launched in 2012 and which has struggled to gain traction, according to SovEcon.

"The main differences of the new contract are a smaller number of the basis of supply (the previous contract had Russia, Ukraine and Romania) and a lack of physical delivery," it said.

By Nov. 15, Russia had exported 19.1 million tonnes of grain since the start of the season on July 1, up 29.5 percent year-on-year. Wheat exports were up 26 percent at 14.8 million tonnes.

Russia, which is expected to produce a record grain crop this year, has already harvested 137.7 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning. Its farmers have also sown winter grains for next year's crop on 98 percent of the planned area.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were up 75 roubles at 8,375 roubles ($141), for fourth-class wheat - up 50 roubles to 7,525 roubles a tonne respectively in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Russian sunflower seed prices rose 275 roubles to 17,325 roubles a tonne last week, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices rose 325 roubles to 44,325 roubles per tonne, while FOB export oil prices remained at $755 a tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia rose $33 to $430 a tonne as of Nov. 17. ($1 = 59.2400 roubles)


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