World Cup Fans May Dent Russia’s Record-Breaking Wheat Season
The World Cup risks putting a dent into Russia’s best-ever season for wheat exports as an influx of soccer fans may slow shipments from one of the country’s major grains ports.
Rostov-on-Don will host five soccer games from June 17 to July 2, raising concerns that shipments will slow due to security measures and rerouting of road traffic. The Don River grain terminals, owned by commodity giants including Cargill Inc. and Bunge Ltd., handle about a quarter of Russia’s outgoing grain cargoes, according to shipping broker Glogos Project.
Russia is exporting more wheat than any other country in 25 years, and is set to cap another record after bumper harvests. Given the high pace of exports, SovEcon last week raised its estimate for total grain shipments for the season ending June. Exports typically tail off toward the end of the season, which will mitigate any slowdown due to the games, said Andrey Sizov Jr., managing director at consultant SovEcon in Moscow.
Officials may divert traffic from a bridge near the Rostov Arena, where “substantial” amounts of grain cross the river en route to the port, according to Semyon Chudakov, executive director at the St. Petersburg-based Glogos Project.