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Prices of wheat and maize higher in June, while those of rice remained stable

International cereal prices
09/07/2019

The benchmark US wheat (No.2 Hard Red Winter, f.o.b.) averaged USD 228 per tonne in June, more than 7 percent higher than in May but still nearly 6 percent down from the corresponding month last year. Besides the spill over from a surge in maize prices, wheat price quotations were also underpinned by excessively wet weather, which delayed harvesting of the winter wheat crops. Wheat export prices in the EU were also firmer due to hot weather conditions, while in Argentina, heavy rains, hampering planting, provided support. By contrast, prices of Black Sea origin wheat remained under downward pressure largely because of the generally favourable production outlook, despite some concerns over hot and dry weather.

Export prices of maize increased in June. Price quotations of the benchmark US maize (No.2, Yellow, f.o.b.) continued to rise for the second consecutive month, averaging USD 196 per tonne, 14 percent up from May and the highest in the past five years. The sharp increase was mostly triggered by anticipation of a much lower production in the United States of America as compared to the previous year, because of excessively wet weather conditions during the critical spring planting period. In South America and Ukraine, brisk international demand pushed up export quotations.

The FAO All Rice Price Index (2002-04=100) averaged 222 points in June, holding steady for the fourth successive month. Although demand remained generally subdued in June across Asia, quotations of Indica rice followed mixed trends in the major origin countries. Prices increased in Thailand in tandem with a further appreciation of the country’s currency, while they steady in India on the backdrop of a strong pace of public domestic procurement and a slow start of the monsoon rains. By contrast, quotations eased in Pakistan, amid efforts to attract buyers, and slid in Viet Nam, as freshly harvested “summer-autumn” rice reached the market. Export prices were steady to lower in Brazil, influenced by low local demand, in Uruguay, on a slow pace of exports and in the United States of America amidst large inventories.