Uncertainty in grain trade amid talk of Russia export ban

Grain prices retreated late last week from earlier week highs, as predictions of a ban in Russia on grain exports failed to materialise, according to the IFA’s latest grain market update.

The IFA says it remains to be seen whether Russia will implement an export ban in response to rising domestic food prices as the impact of international sanctions bites deeper.

There has been a significant recovery in prices since the harvest, despite abundant stocks which has been fuelled by a number of factors, according to the IFA update.

It says investment funds stung by the rapid fall in oil and gas prices have moved to equities and grains and in addition a significant risk premium is being built into new crop 2015 pricing as poorly emerged winter wheat crops in Russia and the Ukraine head into the winter.

Sowings in both countries for the 2015/16 crop year are forecast to drop somewhat in response to declining margins due to falling grain prices and rising fertiliser costs, according to the update.

Here at home, the IFA says front dried grain prices mirrored international price movements in recent days.

Dried spot barley is trading from €165/t to €167/t down on earlier week quotes. Barley on a run to March is trading from €168/t to €170/t. Spot wheat is ranging from €178/t to €180/t with January-March trading €2/t to €3/t over.

Meanwhile, new crop 2015 dried wheat prices peaked in earlier week trade at €193/t to €195/t before easing back to €186/t to €187/t by the close of the week. New crop dried barley prices continue to discount wheat by €12/t to €15/t.