Egypt extended its strong start to wheat buying for the new
crop year with a 240,000-tonne order from Romania, an unusually large order
from a single origin, despite lingering concerns over the impact of rains.
Egypt's Gasc grain authority - at its second purchase in the
first nine days of the 2014-15 crop year - purchased all its requirement from
Romania, despite competitive bids from other origins.
Indeed, the cheapest offer – excluding freight – was of
Ukraine wheat, priced by merchant Venus at $248.87 a tonne.
French wheat was also offered below $250 a tonne, and cheaper
than some of the winning Romanian lots, being priced by Soufflet at $249.50 a
However, Romanian origin scooped the $63m order thanks to
the lower shipping charges from its Black Sea ports to Egypt, the top wheat
importing country, some as low as $9.99 a tonne, compared with $16.49 a tonne
from Ukraine and at least $17.50 a tonne from France.
All for one
The order was an unusually large one from a single origin,
the largest since at least 2012-13, and takes to 420,000 tonnes Gasc's orders
of Romanian wheat so far during the new crop year.
Gasc wheat purchases, July 9
Romania: 60,000 tonnes from Glencore, $249.35 a tonne, plus $10.35 freight
Romania: 60,000 tonnes from Ameropa, $250.78 a tonne, plus $9.99 a tonne freight
Romania: 60,000 tonnes from Invivo, $251.00 a tonne, plus $11.60 a tonne freight
Russia: 60,000 tonnes from Nidera, $251.00 a tonne, plus $10.60 a tonne freight
It has also ordered a further 60,000 tonnes of Russian
The start of this month, besides marking the start of
2014-15 for many major northern hemisphere wheat trading countries - with the
notable exception of the US which starts its crop year in June - also marked
the start of Egypt's new budget year.
The reliance on Romania comes despite some lingering
concerns over the impact of heavy rains on the quality of the country's crop,
and more so on that in neighbouring Bulgaria, with moisture on ripe grain
encouraging sprouting and lowering protein levels.
'Some question marks'
Romania has more rain to come, with more than half of its
farms expected to receive 1-2 inches of rain over the next five days, according
to INTL FCStone.
"There are some question marks about exactly what Romania
will have to offer," a European grain trader told Agrimoney.com.
"But you have to hope that traders have done their home work,
and have the facility to get the right quality stuff."