Russian wheat exports continue to slow

Demand from major wheat importing nations weakens while relative strength of ruble and looming supply tightness at the end of the marketing year ensures prices remain supported

Russian wheat export activity remained relatively slow in the week to May 29 as exporters have exhausted their share of the state grain export quota, which is in place until June 30 and is expected to slow export activity through to the arrival of the new crop.

This means that the Russian market is waiting for a natural suspension of shipments before the start of the new season and many grain holders are expected to transfer part of their volumes to the next season.

Russian wheat FOB price data and trends for 2022

As for wheat export prices, weak demand from importing nations contrasted with tighter supply as the relative strength of the ruble on international currency markets and the looming supply tightness at the end of the marketing year ensured prices remained well supported.

Indicative export prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein for June loading stood at $424 per tonne FOB at the end of last week, according to Fastmarkets Agriculture data.

In the week to May 29, wheat volumes from ports came to just over 322,000 tonnes, including 175,300 tonnes heading to Egypt, 95,000 tonnes to Turkey, 40,000 tonnes to Nigeria and 11,700 tonnes to Italy, port line-up data showed Monday.

However, although line up data showed 175,300 tonnes heading to Egypt, ship tracking software suggests up to 60,250 tonnes of that volume could actually be heading to Libya.

That would be an unusual move if confirmed.

Furthermore, port data showed around 182,000 tonnes of Russian wheat under loading currently and listed in the line-up to depart during the following week but with no known destination listed as yet.

Wheat stocks

Stocks of wheat, as of May 1, amounted to 7.3 million tonnes, which is 697,300 tonnes or 11% more than last year’s figure, according to the Federal State Statistics Service.

The latest official data on Russian wheat exports was released on March 10 and amounted to 26.8 million tonnes over the course of the marketing year.

In the period from March 10 to today, Fastmarkets Agricensus has used line-up data to provide some insights over the potential export slate with the volume captured amounting to 3.8 million tonnes.

However, it must be stressed that official statistics do not show exports to sanctioned countries, unlike the lineup data which lists destinations regardless of the status of sanctions.

The USDA estimates exports from Russia in the 2021-2022 marketing year could reach 33 million tonnes.

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