In June, Russian export prices were mostly flat. 12.5% FOB remains slightly below $200/mt. On one hand, prices were supported by a strong rally in Chicago, where SRW continue to rise rapidly supported by record slow planting of US corn. On another, the market remained under pressure of good crop outlook for the Black Sea region.
At the same time, as we mentioned earlier, weather conditions started to deteriorate in the Black Sea in late May due to lack of precipitation and high temperatures. In late May and early June, we downgraded new Russian wheat crop estimates a few times, from 83.4 MMT to 82.2 MMT and warned our clients about likely future cuts.
In June weather conditions remained unfavorable for the new wheat crop. It’s likely not to be an issue for Ukraine and Southern Russia which are harvesting new winter wheat crop. However, this may negatively affect yield potential in the Center and the Volga Valley. (We are issuing a new crop forecast next week).
So in early July, set up for the Black Sea wheat prices looks very different compared to what we saw a month ago. Chicago rally is over, at least for now, but the market now is much less optimistic about the new Black Sea crop.