Russia Seen Selling More Wheat Abroad Than Previously Estimated
Falling Russian wheat prices mean the world’s biggest exporter will ship more this season than previously expected.
Exports in the period ending June will probably reach 24 million metric tons, according to the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or Ikar. Grain carrier ZAO Rusagrotrans sees 24.7 million tons, said Igor Pavensky, its marketing deputy director. Both firms earlier forecast 23.5 million tons, a figure still maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“We have a lot of wheat,” Dmitry Rylko, Ikar’s director general, said by phone. “The high stockpiles keep prices low.”
Shipments of 1.8 million tons in February were a record high for the month as the weak ruble increased Russia’s competitiveness and warmer-than-usual weather meant cargoes in Azov Sea ports in the country’s south weren’t blocked by ice, Rylko said. Sales abroad in March are seen at 2 million tons, also an all-time high for the month, he said.
Some observers haven’t increased their forecasts.
SovEcon Managing Director Andrey Sizov Jr. left his estimate at 22 million tons as sales are “sluggish” after earlier gains on higher global prices and uncertainty over Russian plans for changes to its export tax. The International Grains Council also retained its 23.4 million-ton estimate in a report last week.Bloomberg