SovEcon: Russian and global grain market news – February 12, 2024

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

On Friday, wheat prices returned to positive territory. The March SRW wheat contract closed at $5.97/bu ($219/mt; +1.4% compared to Thursday). Euronext wheat prices rose to €209.50/mt ($226/mt; +2.1%). U.S. corn dropped to $4.29/bu ($169/mt; -1.0%).

Wheat in Chicago and Paris sharply rebounded after Thursday’s sell-off, with no bearish news to drive prices lower. Corn continued its decline without adequate support. Significant rainfall in the second half of the week in Argentina has nearly erased recent concerns of drought.

Ukraine’s Minister of Agriculture, Mykola Solskyi, stated that the sowing areas for this year’s spring crops are expected to be at last year’s level. Last year, spring grain sowing areas totaled 5.7 million hectares, including 0.3 million for wheat, 0.8 million for barley, and 4.0 million for corn.

On February 10, the Russian Ministry of Defense reported repelling an attack by Ukrainian unmanned boats on “civilian transport ships” in the Black Sea. On the nights of February 11 and 12, Ukraine reported drone attacks on Mykolaiv, with Odessa also being targeted the first night. According to local authorities, the attacks in Mykolaiv targeted “coastal infrastructure” and agro-industrial facilities.

At the end of last week, Polish farmers joined the protests that have erupted across Europe. Protesters are calling for restrictions on Ukrainian exports to European markets and against regulatory measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Farmer protests also continue in Spain and Italy.

On Monday morning, the Houthis fired two missiles at a bulk carrier transporting corn from Brazil to Iran, reports Kpler. According to analysts, the ship’s route did not change after the attack.

Last week, 13 ships redirected their cargoes around the Suez Canal due to Houthi attacks, according to Kpler. Analysts note that the total cargo volume was between 0.6-0.7 million tons, consistent with the previous week’s level.

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