March 1, 2022
Grain exporters seek alternative sources as Russian invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies
Grain exporters are searching for alternative corn and wheat sources, turning to European Union producers France and Romania to cover nearby loadings as the Russian invasion cuts off Ukrainian supplies, Reuters reported.
Grain markets have been affected by the war, as European wheat futures jump to a record high. Ukraine and Russia together account for a third of global wheat exports and a fifth of world corn exports.
Merchants have turned to Romania, a major grain supplier that exports through the Black Sea but outside the conflict zone. Traders have bought between 400,000 to 500,000 tonnes of wheat and 200,000 to 300,000 tonnes of corn from Romania for immediate shipping or loadings in March and April.
Trading companies have also booked small vessels of French corn to cover nearby shipments to EU destinations such as the Iberian peninsula and the Benelux countries.
Some traders said several hundred thousand tonnes of French wheat may have been booked to replace supplies from Ukraine, but other traders cited smaller volumes for immediate needs.
Importers have asked about German wheat but were dissuaded from big purchases due to high prices.
Some merchants are waiting for further developments in the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Key Ukraine corn customers include China, Spain, the Netherlands, Iran, and South Korea.