Friday, 5 May 2017

Friday AM Black Sea agribusiness news

The first batch of Turkish onions has been sent to Russia after Putin and Erdogan agreed to cancel mutual trade restrictions.

The lifting of restrictions includes Russian grain to Turkey however Russia insisted on keeping restrictions on Turkish tomato imports and postponing the reintroduction of a visa-free regime for Turkish nationals.

So while it looks like the trade dispute between the two countries is over for now don’t be too surprised if it flares up again the future.

As of May 4, the gross yield of greenhouse vegetables across Russia amounted to 200,700mt which is almost twice the same date last year and includes 32,500mt tomatoes (up from 18,000mt in 2016).

Russia is planning to build 200 hectares of greenhouses this year which goes someway to explaining why Russia is standing firm on Turkish tomato imports as I assume the finance for construction is already committed.

Louis Dreyfus have opened a grain terminal in Russia’s Rostov region, completed in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The terminal is located on the river Don with a total storage capacity of 50,000mt and will be used for the transhipment of grains on sea-river vessels with an initial annual export capacity of 800,000mt, aiming to exceed 1 million tonnes over time.

At the opening of the terminal Margarita Louis-Dreyfus said, “We are convinced that Russia will remain a dominant player in the global agricultural markets”.

The Committee on International Trade of the European Parliament has voted not to increase annual quotas for imports of Ukrainian wheat, tomatoes and urea saying the EU should continue offering trade preferences to Ukraine but some agricultural products do not require additional support by the EU.

Following on from the fertiliser shortage in Ukraine story I posted last month (here), I keep hearing rumblings that it is a real problem.

My take on it is that there was sufficient supplies and stocks of nitrogen fertiliser to feed the winter crops last month but now spring plantings are in full swing we might see complaints increase if there is a problem as suppliers fail to deliver on orders.

Meanwhile across the pond all eyes are on Kansas after heavy snow and freezing conditions occurred in the key winter wheat production areas on crops that looked to be at heading stage.

The Kansas wheat tour running this week had many tweets suggesting there will be a yield penalty but it’s too early to tell how much at this stage.

Later this month we kick off the second Black Sea crop tour of the season looking at spring crops and wheat which also had snow dumped on it a couple of weeks back.