Export ban fears create massive delta in EU Black Sea wheat prices

3 Mar 2022 | Sharon Levrez

A wide delta emerged between offers of Bulgarian and Romanian wheat Thursday, as traders reacted to rumors of a potential ban on exports to compensate from the lack of supply from Ukraine and Russia, traders said.

March loadings of Bulgarian 11.5% wheat were heard at $428/mt FOB Varna or Burgas, and as low as $405/mt was said to have been offered for intra-EU destinations only.

Romanian 12.5% wheat was meanwhile heard offered at $460-475/mt, also for March loading.

“Bulgaria has been discussing an export quota or ban,” one trading source said. “That’s why the prices are so far apart.”

Normally the two countries are priced largely at parity.

Bulgarian offers have been few and far between for the last week, and Romanian offers limited to the prompt, as traders avoid taking positions in such an uncertain market.

It remains unclear just to what extent the war in Ukraine might affect global wheat supply.

Trading sources said a complete ban on exports was unlikely to emerge, however.

The EU would have to agree to that and may want to ensure exports within the EU could continue.