Rabobank: CBOT wheat prices spike overnight
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Rabobank commentary: CBOT wheat prices spike overnight on escalation of Black Sea conflict

CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) wheat prices soared eight per cent overnight, after Ukrainian ports were hit by Russian missiles and Russia’s Ministry of Defence warned that all vessels travelling to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will be considered as potential carriers of military cargo.

This was the highest trading level of CBOT wheat since a spike in mid-June and previously in February this year, Rabobank senior grains analyst Dennis Voznesenski said. “As of this morning Australian time, CBOT wheat is trading at 725USc/bu (or A$391/tonne),” he said.

Mr Voznesenski said the latest price spike followed “a barrage of missile attacks on Ukrainian grain port infrastructure and Russia’s announcement that the flag countries of vessels travelling to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports will be considered involved in the Ukrainian conflict on the side of the Kiev regime – dashing hopes of external entities protecting Ukrainian vessels”.

He said information coming out of the region indicated Ukrainian grain export terminals and grain storage facilities on the Black Sea have been targeted and hit by Russia, including the largest port, Odessa.

Mr Voznesenski said following the expiry of the Black Sea Grain Initiative on Monday (July 17) after Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement (which had allowed safe passage of vessels carrying grain exports from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports), there were initially hopes that third party countries would escort and guarantee the safety of Ukrainian grain vessels moving through the Black Sea. However, he said, this has become very unlikely, “with NATO countries so far resisting the risk of a possible – and significant – escalation of the conflict”.

Mr Voznesenski said the rise in overseas wheat prices will likely have a direct impact on local Australian wheat prices, which have already been holding up due to restrained farmer selling.

“The reduced availability of grain from Ukraine has short and long-term implications for the global grain sector. In the short term, it means less export availability and during an important time period, Black Sea harvest, when the world relies on Ukrainian grain. In the long term, it means more grain stockpiled in Ukraine, which leads to lower Ukrainian prices, lower Ukrainian farm margins and lower planting,” he said.

For further information or interviews with Dennis Voznesenski, please contact Denise Shaw (details below) or Will Banks on 0418 216 103.


Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 38 countries, servicing the needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 90 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com