Russian wheat exports have been slow so far this season, to the benefit of Ukraine which has seen a surge in its shipments of the grain, traders told Reuters.
Russia and Ukraine, along with Romania and Kazakhstan, compete with each other in wheat markets in North Africa and the Middle East, which they supply via the Black Sea, Successful Farming adds.
Russia, as the largest producer in the region and the world’s largest wheat exporter, usually dominates these markets in August-November when it actively ships its new crop to customers.
The country has exported 6.3 million tonnes of wheat since the 2019/20 marketing year began on July 1, down 1.4% from the same period a year earlier.
The drop is due to a number of factors including forecasts for a smaller Russian crop this year which has prompted some Russian farmers to hold off sales in the hope of getting higher prices later.
In contrast, Ukraine has exported 4.1 million tonnes of wheat so far this season, up 55% from a year ago, and its wheat crop is expected to rise this year.
“Some of the demand has been covered by Ukrainian wheat as the Russians did not want to sell,” a Ukraine-focused trader said.