SovEcon: Russian and global grain market news – April 30, 2024

Daily news and market insights from a leading firm focused on the Black Sea grain markets research

Schedule update: Due to special circumstances, the news digest will be released only three times this week on the following dates: April 30, May 2, and May 3.

On Monday, U.S. grain futures declined. The July SRW wheat contract closed at $6.08/bu ($224/mt; down 2.2% from Friday). The September Euronext wheat contract settled at €230.00/mt ($247/mt; down 2.2%). The July U.S. corn contract finished at $4.49/bu ($177/mt; down 0.2%).

The State Statistics Service of Ukraine released final data on the 2023 grain crop. Total grain collected was 59.8 MMT (up 11% from last year) from 10.8 million hectares (down 8%) with a yield of 55.2 dt/ha (up 21%). The wheat crop was 21.6 MMT (up 4.3%), and corn was 31.0 MMT (up 18%).

Major grain exporter TD “Rif” informed a customer in a letter that the Russian Ministry of Agriculture is demanding exporters raise prices and is imposing restrictions on those who refuse. Bloomberg journalists reported this after reviewing the letter. TD “Rif,” which changed its name to “Rodnye Polya” on Friday, denies any connection to the letter.

The company “Rodnye Polya” has filed a lawsuit against Rosselkhoznadzor for damage compensation. Company representatives claim that the Southern Regional Office of the agency delayed issuing a sanitary certificate and are demanding $60,000 in compensation. The preliminary court hearing is scheduled for May 13.

Ukraine’s Minister of Agrarian Policy, Mykola Solskyi, has been released on bail set by the High Anti-Corruption Court and will continue his duties. Previously, Solskyi submitted his resignation, but it remains under consideration.

Polish farmers have ended the blockade at major border crossings with Ukraine, as reported by Andriy Demchenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s State Border Service, and confirmed by the Polish Border Service.

Since the start of the season through April 29, Ukraine has exported 40.7 MMT of grains, down from 41.4 MMT a year earlier, according to the country’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy. April saw shipments of 5.7 MMT.

The pace of spring wheat planting in the U.S. exceeds market expectations. By the end of last week, 34% of the planned acreage was sown, compared to a market estimate of 27% and 10% at the same time last year. Corn was planted on 27% of the planned acreage, meeting market expectations and 4 percentage points above last year’s figure.

The share of U.S. winter wheat in good to excellent condition decreased by 1 percentage point to 49% over the week, according to the USDA.

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