Country's shipments seen rising 28% year-on-year: Rusagrotrans
Russian wheat exports in December may climb to a record for the month as a slumping ruble and weak domestic demand make the grain more affordable to foreign buyers, according to Moscow-based grain carrier ZAO Rusagrotrans.
Russia, expected to become the largest wheat exporter this season, will probably ship 2.6 million metric tons this month, said Igor Pavensky, the company’s deputy director of marketing. That’s about 28 percent more than in December 2014. He based the estimate on the pace of exports so far and the loading schedule at Black Sea ports.
The ruble has fallen to near a record low against the dollar amid a collapse in oil, Russia’s main export commodity, and the prospect of a U.S. interest rate increase. That’s made commodities priced in rubles cheaper for buyers holding other currencies. Russian wheat demand has fallen because flour millers previously built up stockpiles, Pavensky said.
“Wheat prices are going down to a level that’s more comfortable for exporters,” Pavensky said by phone.
Shipments will probably climb this month from a year earlier even after the wheat-export tax rose to 277 rubles ($3.95) last week, he said. The prices of wheat with 12.5 percent protein content on free-on-board terms at Black Sea ports fell to $193 a ton by Monday, from $195 a week before, Rusagrotrans data show.