European Union wheat won a rare clean sweep at a tender by Egypt’s Gasc, including an unusual order of Polish grain, thanks to price falls which left Russian supplies well out of contention.
Gasc, the grain authority for the world’s top wheat-importing nation, purchased 240,000 tonnes of the grain on Thursday at its fourth tender of the month, taking total orders this season to 2.36m tonnes.
The orders, priced at an average of some $209 a tonne including freight, lifted Gasc’s total spending on wheat tenders so far in 2015-16 above $425m.
However, unusually, this time it was European Union wheat which won the business, undercutting Russian offers despite their advantage of a lower freight rate to Egypt.
Russian vs EU prices
Indeed, many of the offers of Russian wheat were higher than at Gasc’s previous tender, two weeks ago, with an offer from merchant Union, at $206.70 a tonne excluding freight, more than $1 a tonne higher.
Vitol offered Russian wheat at $208 a tonne, more than $4 a tonne more than two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, many European Union offers were notably cheaper than two weeks ago, with Soufflet winning a Gasc order with a cargo of French grain priced at $197.64 a tonne – down $7.10 a tonne on last time.
Bunge’s winning offer of French wheat was also $7 a tonne cheaper than it was offering supplies at the previous tender.
The relative firmness of Russian offers tallies with reports from within the country of values gaining support from the prospect of a government buying programme of up to 2m tonnes, and from reduced ideas of this year’s harvest.
Ikar earlier this month cut its forecast for the Russian grains harvest by 1m tonnes to 103m tonnes, mainly down to a wheat output downgrade, while SovEcon trimmed by 1m tonnes to 30m tonnes its estimate for the grains harvest in 2015-16.
There is also talk of weather worries stemming some farmers’ enthusiasm for sales for now, with dryness curtailing wheat establishment in some areas as temperatures drop, and leaving crops ill-prepared should the winter turn out to be a harsh one.
And the rouble has staged some recovery against the dollar after topping 70 rouble to $1 in August, on Thursday standing at some 63 rouble to $1, so curbing the currency boost to Russian export competitiveness.
Meanwhile, in the European Union, exporters are attempting to get shot of a second successive bumper crop – with limited success.
Official data on Thursday showed EU wheat export licences reaching 6.8m tonnes so far in 2015-16 – down some 1m tonnes year on year.
Separately, the International Grains Council pegged EU wheat shipments this season at 30.0m tonnes, an upgrade of 500,000 tonnes on last month’s forecast “but still 13% below last season’s peak, reflecting the anticipated fall in overall global trade as well as strong competition from the Black Sea region”.
Shippers in France, the EU’s top wheat producer and exporter, have managed some success in finding byers outside Europe, which shipments to non-EU importers soaring 24% over July and August.
However, it is not clear that shippers in Poland, the EU’s fourth-ranked wheat producing country, have had such success in shipping a crop which the IGC on Thursday upgraded to 11.2m tonnes, a historically high level.
The quality of the crop has also been reported by sources to Agrimoney.com as good, with wheat with protein of 14% said to be available.
Poland in 2014-15 exported 3.2m tonnes of wheat, up from 1.7m tonnes the season before, with Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Algeria among top destinations, and Egypt taking less than 90,000 tonnes, according to European Commission data.
Polish wheat was, by $1.80 a tonne, the cheapest on offer to Gasc.
(Source – http://www.agrimoney.com/news/eu-wins-egyptian-wheat-order-undercutting-russian-offers–8955.html)