Russian wheat prices up slightly amid continued export demand
Russian wheat prices were up slightly last week amid continued demand from domestic exporters, analysts said on Monday, while an increase in Black Sea grain shipments and a stronger Australian crop sent global benchmarks lower.
Prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content, delivered free on board (FOB) from Black Sea ports, were up $1 last week to $306 per tonne, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.
Russia is exporting wheat relatively quickly this month, analysts from consultancy Sovecon said. Algeria has bought around 570,000-600,000 tonnes of wheat, and much of that will come from Russia, it added.
Last week, Russia exported 0.80 million tonnes of wheat, compared with 0.67 million tonnes a week earlier, Sovecon said. It estimates that Russia could export up to 3.7 million tonnes of wheat in total in January, up from the average of 2.7 million tonnes seen in recent years.
Analysts said Russian grain and wheat stocks reached a record high at the start of the year, as record harvests and limited exports helped the country build up grain reserves.
According to the Rosstat federal statistics agency, Russia had 22.1 million tonnes of wheat in stockpiles in December 2022, up from 13.8 million tonnes a year earlier.
These figures could remain at record highs towards the end of the 2022-2023 season, analysts said.
“Everything is going according to our expected plan: record carryover stocks by the end of the season (June 2023) are possible,” said Dmitry Rylko, the head of the IKAR agriculture consultancy.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Olga Popova; Writing by Caleb Davis; Editing by Gareth Jones)