Cargill to stop handling Russian grains for export

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Grain terminal in port of Novorossiysk. © GettyImages/	Leonid Eremeychuk
Grain terminal in port of Novorossiysk. © GettyImages/ Leonid Eremeychuk

Related tags Russia Cargill Grain

US agribusiness giant, Cargill, said it will further scale back its business activities in Russia, with it planning to stop handling Russian grain at its export terminal by mid-summer.

In an emailed statement, a Cargill spokeswoman confirmed that the company will cease elevating Russian grain for export from July 2023, following the completion of the 2022-2023 season.

However, the company will continue shipping grain from Russia to destination markets, buying it from other companies.

Cargill owns a port terminal in Novorossiysk in southwest Russia.

In response to the war in Ukraine, the agri-commodities trader stopped new investments in Russia, operating what it said were “only essential” food and feed facilities.

The company will export 2.2m tons of Russian grain in the 2022-23 exporting season, or around 4% of that country’s total grain exports, reported Reuters.

In addition, Viterra signalled it was retreating from grain trading in Russia, according to Bloomberg.

Market impact

Concerns about those moves by Cargill and Viterra gave fresh impetus to a wheat price rebound, sending Chicago futures to their highest in a month, found an outlook yesterday from the UK based CRM Agri team.

“Initial fears of a complete withdrawal from exporting Russian grains drove markets higher, but the devil is in the detail and reports that Cargill is stepping back from elevating grain onto vessels, but that shipping will continue, eased fears.

“With initial fears somewhat reduced, wheat markets have subsequently slid back,” noted the analysts.

However, Chicago wheat outperformed hard red winter wheat futures to erode a premium that reached a 12-year high on Tuesday, expanded by concerns over drought in the key Southern Plains growing region.

“Chicago wheat also clawed back premium over corn, which for May-23 stood only marginally higher in late morning deals, despite the announcement of a further sale of US corn to China of 204Kt.

Ethanol data

US ethanol data for last week was supportive for prices, showing an increase in production by a bigger-than-expected 6,000k barrels per day, said the grain and oilseed market specialists.

Meanwhile, a key US Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on US plantings for 2023, due for release tomorrow, is expected to show growth in corn plantings of more than 3M acres year on year, to 90.9 million acres. “The report is viewed as key too for prospects for soybean prices.”  

Banking sector  

A recovery theme pervaded over financial markets yesterday, added the analysts. “Bank sector worries retreated further to encourage buying in shares and the likes of crude oil.” 

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