Top stories in the wheat market this week, April 5, 2022

Ukraine spring agriculture planting underway; Kazakhstan’s government to limit wheat and flour; Algeria’s OAIC books Black Sea wheat export for June

Ukraine spring planting starts in 21 regions, covers 603,000 hectares so far

Spring planting was underway in 21 regions under Ukraine’s control, covering a total of 603,000 hectares as of April 1, the Ukraine agriculture ministry said Friday.

This amounts to just under 4.5% of the projected total area for main spring crops, which the ministry estimates at 13.4 million hectares, 3.5 million hectares less than last year.

Ukraine has close to 30 million hectares of agricultural land, but many areas cannot currently be used because they are occupied by Russian forces or because of active fighting in the area.

As a result, the ministry lowered its forecast for the total area that will be planted with spring crops by 20% earlier this week.

How much will actually be harvested is still uncertain, with the Russian invasion still ongoing.

In addition, the ministry has already said the focus this year will be on simpler, easier to grow crops rather than high-margin crops for export.

Read more on Ukraine’s spring and winter planting here

Kazakhstan’s government limits wheat, flour export for two months from April 15

The Kazakhstan government has decided to impose wheat and wheat flour export quotas from April 15 to June 1, trade sources said Friday April 1.

The government agreed to impose a limit on wheat exports of 1 million tonnes and on flour at 300,000 tonnes starting from April 15 and up to June 1, while it did not specify how the amount would be spread out over the period.

In addition, exporters are obliged to provide to the state purchasing company (Prodcorporation) with 10% of the exported amount.

Trade sources said the price for the sale of wheat to Prodcorporation was fixed at Tenge 116,000 tonnes, which is around $254 per tonne.

This measure is meant to support the domestic market, and it is expected that Prodcorporation will redirect purchases to cover the needs of local bakeries, flour mills, livestock and poultry farming.

The decision comes as wheat prices have soared in the last month after Russia invaded Ukraine, and global wheat markets have experienced tight supplies as both countries are key suppliers.

The Kazakhstan government is therefore trying to guarantee domestic food security given the high demand for alternative origins.

Algeria’s OAIC buys up to 570,000 wheat, pays $37 per tonne less

Algeria’s state grain importer booked up to 570,000 tonnes of milling wheat for the June 1-30 shipment paying $37 per tonne less compared to the last tender, with traders expecting the bulk of it to be sourced from the Black Sea, trade sources said on Thursday.

The Office Algerien Interprofessional des Cereales (OAIC) has booked up to 570,000 tonnes of milling wheat paying $448 per tonne CFR on average for June shipment.

The traders expect most of the wheat to be sourced from Romania and Bulgaria.

The lineup for the sellers included Viterra (150,000 tonnes), Casillo (120,000 tonnes), Cerealcom Dolj (90,000 tonnes), Cofco, Soufflet and Cam Negoce – all reportedly sold 60,000 tonnes each and Invivo sold 30,000 tonnes.

“Pricing was based on Romania/Bulgaria, happy EU Black Sea originators,” a trader said.

Romanian and Bulgarian origins were in high demand in recent month, as it was the closest origin to make a switch from Ukrainian supplies, and as the price has dropped by around $40 per tonne since the start of the month, the EU Black Sea remains very attractive compared to other European origins.

“Once may Matif will go off the board no one will want to carry anything to new crop,” a trader said regarding the French wheat perspectives.

Earlier this month OAIC bought wheat on March 9 when it picked up 600,000 tonnes of wheat at around $485 per tonne for May shipment.

Keep up to date with the wheat market and trends shaping the agricultural landscape, visit our dedicated wheat market news page.

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