SovEcon: Russian and global grain market news – March 08, 2024

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

On Friday, wheat futures increased, with the May SRW wheat contract closing at $5.38/bu ($198/mt; +1.7% compared to Thursday). May Euronext wheat rose to €193.50/mt ($212/mt; +0.8%). The May corn contract ended at $4.40/bu ($173/mt; +0.4%).

The USDA’s WASDE report, closely aligned with analysts’ forecasts, supported the prices. The global wheat stock estimate was lowered to 258.8 MMT (-0.6 MMT from February; -0.3 MMT from analysts’ expectations). Global corn stocks were assessed at 319.6 MMT by the USDA (-2.5 MMT; -0.8 MMT).

The wheat crop estimate for Russia was increased by 0.5 MMT to 91.5 MMT; the export estimate remained unchanged at 51.0 MMT. The Ukrainian corn production estimate was lowered by 1.0 MMT to 29.5 MMT, while the wheat production estimate remained unchanged at 23.4 MMT. Ukrainian wheat export estimates were increased by 1.0 MMT to 16.0 MMT; corn exports were raised by 1.5 MMT to 24.5 MMT.

Odessa region was hit by drone strikes three times over the weekend. Local authorities reported drones being shot down over the region on the nights of March 8, 10, and 11. The attacks damaged infrastructure.

The UN FAO’s average grain price index in February fell to 113.8 points, 5% lower than the previous month. According to UN analysts, the most significant price drop was in corn, due to good crop prospects in South America.

Trading company Sierentz Global Merchants is winding down its global grain trading operations, with many traders already leaving their positions, as reported by Reuters citing industry sources. Founded in 2017 by a group of former Louis Dreyfus traders, Sierentz’s grain division specialized in exporting grain from the Black Sea region, mainly from Ukraine. Two sources mentioned that Sierentz would continue operations in Brazil and Russia.

SovEcon is hosting a webinar on the Black Sea situation in 2024/25. Join us on Tuesday, March 19, at 9AM US Eastern / 3PM Central European / 5PM Moscow. The participation fee is $99 for everyone and completely free for Sizov Report subscribers.

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