Food inflation has taken hold across the world. In places like America and Europe, food prices were up by more than 10% y/y in December. Nonetheless, the situation seems to be improving. Wheat prices have eased considerably off the highs seen in the initial months following Russia's invasion. Food inflation in m/m terms is already showing signs of a slowdown. The grain deal, which came into effect last August, is clearly having an impact. Ukraine managed to ship 4.75 Mt in total seaborne wheat tonnage through the final five months of the year.
On October 30th the Russian Federation suspended their participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. Instead of freezing the current backlog of laden vessels, Turkish and UN delegations have instead reacted swiftly by increasing inspections in the Marmara Sea.
The Black Sea is one of the regions the early users of Kpler Grains & Oilseeds watch the most. Let's have a look at a few interesting moves identified by Madeleine Overgaard, Grains Analyst.
The risk of further cuts to Russian pipeline gas supplies to the European Union has increased since yesterday after Russia’s state-owned gas producer Gazprom warned that Russia could impose sanctions against Ukraine’s Naftogaz.
Kuwait's Al-Zour Refinery has started operations at one of its CDUs a few days ago. The 615 kbd refinery is one of the largest globally, representing the most significant addition to global refining capacity in years and the largest addition until Nigeria’s Dangote plant eventually starts up later this decade.
The fallout from the war in Ukraine is causing supply tightness across a number of commodities. Ammonia might be the most impacted of all.
The war in Ukraine has quickly highlighted the fragility of grain markets. Prices have responded to the upside as a result. While loading disruptions have yet to surface, strict sanctions, a Russian agreement with China and disappointing Ukrainian yields are all likely to weigh on Black Sea loadings as the harvest season approaches in Q3. Med purchasers are poised to feel the biggest impacts, albeit the United States could help to fill the supply gap.
Russia’s Sovcomflot-owned 172,600 m3 Christophe de Margerie ice-class LNG carrier has diverted away from the UK and is sailing to France’s 8 mtpa Montoir LNG receiving facility, following the UK’s decision to ban ships with Russian connections entry to its ports.
While a full ban on Russian oil exports would undoubtedly have a severe impact on the Russian economy, it would also cause widespread disruption to the global oil market. Europe would be the worst affected, relying on both Russian crude and product to a large extent.