Some Russian wheat vessels successfully discharge in Iran, others remain stuck

23 May 2023 | Masha Belikova

At least six wheat cargos loaded from Russia in late March-April have reached Iranian ports and were successfully discharged, while at least five vessels with Russian wheat and barley loaded between September-October 2022 are still in the Persian Gulf, line-up data shows.

Russian traders sold wheat within an Iranian state tender held by the Government Trading Corporation (GTC) on March 2, where up to 700,000 mt were secured, and the line-up data available showed around 731,000 mt were loaded in Russian ports in March-early May, confirming the sale.

While the vessels loaded in late April and May are still on their way to Iranian ports, the first to leave have already reached their destination and some have even moved on to new destinations.

At the time the tender was held, trade sources were cautious about the sales, as there were up to ten vessels with Russian wheat and barley stuck in Iranian ports.

But for now, the number of vessels that are still waiting has decreased to five, which are still waiting for payment and discharge.

At the time the most recent tender was held, Russian wheat offers on an FOB NTTK basis were at $298/mt compared with around $350/mt FOB for the same grade back in August 2022, when the cargoes that are now stuck were reportedly traded.

Market sources said traders cannot cancel these older deals without incurring large losses since prices were significantly higher at the time the contracts were signed.