The floods which struck southern Russia at the weekend,
killing at least 171 people, may have damaged stored as well as unharvested
grains, with concerns centring on one of two giant silos at the port of Novorossiisk.
Officials and analysts were still on Monday attempting to gauge
the degree of damage to standing crops in southern Russia from the floods, which
followed rains on Friday night which dumped 11 inches on some areas.
One early account relayed to Agrimoney.com spoke of damage to
sunflower fields, in the Krasnodar area where dryness had been a concern, although
Sovecon reported market talk that "it looks like the flood hasn't affected any
"People are talking about 10,000-20,000 hectares max,"
including sunflowers and other crops as well as wheat, Andrey Sizov, the Moscow-based
consultancy's managing director, told Agrimoney.com
However, Rory Deverell at broker FCStone flagged that the flooding
"may have affected already harvested winter wheat where storage terminals were
flooded as well as the remaining unharvested winter crops as well as the corn
and sunflower crops".
Concerns centre in particular on Novorossiisk, the site of
Russia's biggest port for handling grain, and oil, exports, and where
authorities at the local town declared a state of emergency after receiving 100mm
of rainfall in two days.
The port itself restarted operations on Sunday after
suspending them in the early hours of Saturday as the inundation threatened power
But there are rumours that grain stores in one of the port's
two terminals, which have combined capacity for 11m-12m tonnes of grain exports
a year, have been damaged by the flooding.
"I have heard they have some problem with one of the silos
there," an in-country source told Agrimoney.com.
The concerns centre on the United Grains Company silo, the
smaller of the two, with capacity of about 4.5m tonnes a year, and which was full,
prompting it to halt further intake, in the run up to the floods.
NCSP Group, the port's operator, said that the damage caused
by the rains and flooding "continues to be assessed", a process that "will
continue over the next few days".
The group, which had started some "emergency" repairs, was
working with customers "adjusting the schedule of cargo handling".
According to Sovecon's Mr Sizov, it appears that "everything
is going to be back to normal within current week" on shipments.
Damage to the silo would represent an early setback to state-controlled
UGC's new start under the part ownership of Summa Group, the building-to-logistics
group which in May won the auction for a stake of 50% minus one share with a
However, Summa's victory, against competition from the likes
of domestic sugar group Rusagro and French commodities trader Louis Dreyfus, has
attracted some controversy.
FAS, the Russian anti-monopoly watchdog, warned that the UGC
auction process may have breached competition law, and recommended the
government to hold a new tender.