Russia Wheat In Best Run Since April As Quality Grain Sought
Russian wheat prices extended a rebound, capping the best run since April, as farmers charged more for high-protein grain after rains damaged crops there and in major competitor France.
Wheat for loading at Black Sea ports rose 1.2% from a week earlier to $170 a metric tonne, Dmitry Rylko, director general of the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or Ikar, said by phone. The price, up for a fourth week, is for wheat with protein content of 12.5%.
Farmers are seeking higher prices after rains this year hurt crop quality in France, the European Union’s biggest grower, and the world’s top supplier, Russia, Rylko said. That helped Russian export prices rebound after slumping to the lowest in at least six years amid an outlook for a record harvest.
“Considering the situation on the market, sellers aren’t hurrying to part with high-protein wheat and will continue to hold on to it,” Daniil Tikhonov, a grain trader at St Petersburg-based Artis-Agro Export, said by phone. “They will prefer to sell the lower-quality wheat first.”
SovEcon pegged last week’s price at $175, up $4.50 from a week earlier, the Moscow-based consultant said in an emailed note. Demand for Russian and Ukrainian wheat is 'quite active' amid concern about crops in Western Europe, it said.
Still, Russian sales may increase so farmers can finance planting and free up space to store other crops, SovEcon said. The nation has already begun sunflower harvesting, the Agriculture Ministry said.
Russia is deliberating whether to suspend its wheat-export tax for the rest of the season, with an Agriculture Ministry official confirming last week that the ministry had sent such a proposal to the Cabinet. He didn’t say when the decision on the levy, designed to keep down domestic prices, may be made.
In Ukraine, prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content rose 1.2% from a week earlier to $172.5 a tonne as of Thursday, also climbing for a fourth week, according to Kiev-based UkrAgroConsult. Prices from the Russian and Ukrainian research companies are on a free-on-board basis.
Wheat for delivery at the French port of Rouen with a minimum 11% protein content fell 1.8% last week to €166.73 ($188.79) a tonne, according to data from FranceAgriMer. That was the first weekly decline in three weeks.
Just 33% of French soft wheat was in good or very good condition as of 15 August, unchanged from a week earlier, according to FranceAgriMer. The country’s farmers had almost completed harvesting, the crop office said.
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