Russian wheat prices follow global benchmarks higher

Tikhoretsk | Reuters — Russian wheat export prices rose last week following an increase in global benchmarks and concerns over dry and hot weather in the European part of Russia, analysts said.

Russia, one of the world’s big wheat exporters, competes with other global suppliers, including France, where Western European wheat prices hit the highest level since mid-April last week before turning lower in holiday-quietened trade.

Black Sea forward prices for Russian new-crop wheat with 12.5 per cent protein content stood at US$194 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $5 from a week earlier, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

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It quoted prices for the old wheat crop at US$195 per tonne, while SovEcon consultancy quoted them at $192, up $2 from the previous week. IKAR also pegged prices for new-crop maize (corn) at US$165 per tonne.

“The rise of the European wheat market… will likely cause the further strengthening of Russian wheat,” SovEcon said in a note.

Russia, a major wheat supplier to North Africa and the Middle East, exported less than 500,000 tonnes of grains, including 200,000 tonnes of wheat, in the first 20 days of May, according to IKAR.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were up 75 roubles compared with a week earlier, at 9,250 roubles (C$228) per tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon added.

In the domestic sunflower seed market, SovEcon said prices fell 75 roubles to 20,475 roubles (C$505) per tonne, while FOB Black Sea prices for crude sunflower oil were flat at US$820-840 per tonne.

Reporting for Reuters by Polina Devitt.

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