Roller-coaster week for grain markets

Grain markets have recovered some ground from last week’s lows, buoyed by the possible introduction of export tariffs in Russia.

Russia had exported more than 10m tonnes of grain since July, and its government was considering imposing export tariffs to support domestic stocks, said a report by Agritel. “Russia should be less present on the international scene for the second part of the campaign; Ukraine could take the lead in the region.”

London wheat futures ended the week to Tuesday (12 October) about £5/t up, putting ex-farm grain at about £145/t for spot movement. However, a report by the US Department of Agriculture sent prices tumbling again on Wednesday, due to much larger global wheat and corn supplies than expected.

The USDA report increased wheat ending stocks by 7.8m tonnes, to 202.4m tonnes; the largest ending stocks for 10 years and 7m tonnes more than traders had anticipated. Coarse grain supplies jumped by 6m tonnes to 156m tonnes – although that would still be the smallest carryout since 2006/07.

Conversely, soya stocks were lower than expected, proving supportive for oilseed rape markets. Domestic rapeseed prices increased by £10/t in the week to Wednesday, to about £354/t ex-farm.

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