Russian Wheat Prices up as Romania, Ukraine Restrict Exports

Prices for wheat exports from Russia jumped last week due to limits on shipments imposed by Romania, Ukraine, and Moscow itself, and as the ruble strengthened against the dollar, analysts told Reuters on Monday.

Last week, Romania banned grain exports to non-European Union destinations until mid-May to cover its domestic needs amid the coronavirus outbreak. Ukraine agreed with traders a maximum amount of wheat for export, while Russia imposed a grain export quota for April-June.

Russian wheat with 12.5pc protein content loaded from Black Sea ports and for the nearest delivery was up $3 to $225 a ton free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, SovEcon said. Barley was unchanged at $177 a ton.

IKAR, another Moscow agriculture consultancy, pegged wheat at $227 a ton, up $3. Prices for the new crop, which is due to arrive this summer, and delivery in late July rose by $4 to $202 a ton.

Dry spring weather with little rain expected in the next two weeks is also starting to raise concerns about this year’s grain harvest among Russian farmers and analysts. The Russian roble is up in line with higher oil prices.

Russia exported 32.1 million tons of grain between the July 1 start of the 2019/20 season and April 9, down 15pc from a year earlier, SovEcon said, citing customs data. Of this, wheat exports accounted for 27.6 million tons.