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Russian wheat exports up 90% at 4.6 mil mt in marketing year to August 8

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Russian wheat exports up 90% at 4.6 mil mt in marketing year to August 8

London — Russian wheat exports between the start of the marketing year on July 1 and August 8 were 4.63 million mt, up 90% on the year, Russian Agriculture Ministry data showed Monday.

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The faster pace than last year reflects an earlier-than-usual harvest as a result of hot, dry weather, which prompted farmers to begin much earlier than expected to minimize heat and drought damage to crops.

Despite this, crop production forecasts are much lower at around 70 million mt for 2018-19 than 2017-18's 85 million mt harvest.

Supply constraints have subsequently pushed prices to record highs. Deep sea port 12.5% protein wheat was assessed by S&P Global Platts at a 41-month high of $231.50/mt Friday.

However, the soaring cost of wheat has led to a slowdown in demand as buyers opt to dig into their stocks.

This was reflected in the pace of exports, which grew at a much slower pace than the previous week.

However, production forecasts are rising, reflected in Friday's World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate report by the US Department of Agriculture.

The forecast for Russian production was revised up 1 million mt to 68 million mt. Exports too were revised up 1 million mt to 35 million mt but still well short of the 42 million mt exported in 2017-18.

Meanwhile, Russian Ministry data showed that 288,000 mt of corn was exported, down 35.3% on the year while barley exports were also down at 683,000 mt from 846,000 mt a year earlier.

--James Colquhoun, james.colquhoun@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jonathan Dart, jonathan.dart@spglobal.com