Bug Damage A Problem In Black Sea Wheat

An interesting report on Reuters suggests that damage by bugs is a serious problem in this season's Black Sea region wheat crops.

Quoting the Vice President of Global Technical Governance at SGS Agricultural Services, they say that Russian wheat this season typically has an average of 2.6% bug damage, with Ukraine wheat damage estimated at an average 4.6%. In some parts of the Ukraine bug damage has been as high as 80% he says. No wonder they're so keen to get rid of it, still it saves a few bob on loading charges when the wheat can walk onto the boat by itself.

As well as climatic conditions, much of this season's wheat problems can probably be attributed to economising on pesticides in these cash-strapped times, he says.

With Egypt having recently lowered it's maximum tolerance to bug damage to just 1%, in theory that leaves the door open for better quality European or US wheat to make inroads into 'difficult' homes like Egypt and perhaps even India.

Not that you'd know it the way recent tenders have been going, with Russia picking up the lion's share once again of late. Of course winning a tender isn't quite the same as having your wheat clear customs on delivery. There's nothing like a rejection or two and some hefty demurrage charges to sharpen the mind.