Russia's January wheat exports seen at at least 3.6 mln T - analysts

Credit: REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Jan 4 (Reuters) - Russia's January wheat exports will remain high for this time of the July-June marketing season - at at least 3.6 million tonnes - after a huge 2022 grain crop, analysts said.

Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, harvested a record grain crop of 151.0 million tonnes after drying and cleaning, including 102.7 million tonnes of wheat, according to preliminary official 2022 data.

Russia will export 3.6 million to 3.8 million tonnes of wheat in January, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note. Sovecon, another consultancy, saw January wheat exports at 3.6 million-4.0 million tonnes, while analysts at Russian rail operator Rusagrotrans saw the supply at 3.6 million tonnes.

Estimates by the three analysts of December wheat exports vary from 4.1 million tonnes to 4.5 million tonnes. Russia suspended publication of import and export data to avoid "speculation" after it launched what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The Black Sea is the main grain export route for Russia and Ukraine.

Global insurers face a testing 2023 as reinsurers increase rates on key business lines by as much as 200% from Jan. 1 and pull back from underwriting risk in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, reinsurance brokers' reports showed on Tuesday.

"There is a lot of chatter about the insurance of vessels in the Black Sea in 2023 as reinsurance is likely to be challenging. Looking at the impressive line-up of vessels from Russia we believe that it is not a big deal," Sovecon said.

Prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content and for immediate supply from Black Sea ports were unchanged at $307-$311 per tonne at the end of last week, it added.

The recent weakening of the rouble against the dollar RU/RUB could help wheat exports in the short term. However, its support in the medium-term will be limited because the export tax, which Russia sets each week, rises along with the weaker rouble.

Domestic trading activity is low this week due to Russia's New Year holidays which end on Jan. 9.

The weather remains favourable for the winter grain sowings after recent rains in Russia's south, Sovecon said.

Other Russian data provided by Sovecon and IKAR:

Product:

Price at the end of last week:

Change from week earlier

- Domestic 3rd class wheat, European part of Russia, excludes delivery (Sovecon)

12,350 rbls/t($173.9)

-25 rbls

- Sunflower seeds (Sovecon)

25,625 rbls/t

+200 rbls

- Domestic sunflower oil (Sovecon)

78,100 rbls/t

+925 rbls

- Domestic soybeans (Sovecon)

31,600 rbls/t

unchanged

- Export sunflower oil (Sovecon)

$1,170/t

+$20

- White sugar, Russia's south (IKAR)

$708.5/t

-$12.4

($1 = 71.0000 roubles)

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; editing by Robert Birsel)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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