|Red Sea shipping disruptions are affecting grain markets more than is often perceived.
One analysis group overnight echoed thoughts of many observers in saying that “the Red Sea crisis continues to be conspicuous by its absence in the major grain markets”.
However, while the impact may not be as significant as for oil, for which Middle East tensions affect the most important production region too, the impact on ags should be underestimated.
In fact, much of the 7Mt in grain that usually sails through the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal every month is being rerouted, typically via the Cape of Good Hope, with diversions just this week reported at 700Kt.
And there are indirect impacts too. Extra shipping costs aren’t just swallowed by buyers, but exporters too, adding to pressure on grain prices.
Meanwhile, barriers to long-haul shipping focuses minds of both buyers and sellers on more local markets. The EU has already had a taste of this kind of thinking in the surge in its grain imports from Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia a year ago, encouraged by the removal of trade barriers too.
Again, this spurs price pressure, as EU farmers have been protesting about in demonstrations which came to a head this week.
For rapeseed, meanwhile, the Red Sea crisis could have different effects in Europe, in hampering imports from Australia.
These are just some of the dynamics considered in analysis by CRM Agri, in its weekly Grain Market Outlook, Oilseed Market Outlook and UK Grain Market reports.
From the likes of El Nino-La Nina, Argentina’s heatwave, Brazil’s soybean harvest and poor European winter crop sowings, rely on CRM Agri to shine a light on the implications for markets.