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Determining Prices for Black Sea Grains: Agriculture Price Assessments

What are Black Sea grains?

The Black Sea grains complex encompasses wheat and corn production and exports from countries bordering the Black Sea. Our market coverage focuses primarily on supply from Russia and Ukraine, but also looks at exports from Kazakhstan, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.

Producing 9% of total global grains production, exports from the Black Sea region accounted for 21.4% of the total exports in 2014, a testament to the region's importance as a grains exporter.

With global wheat and corn purchasing on the rise due to growing populations, increasing wealth and shifting patterns of consumption, the supply and demand balance in the world is likely to continue to tighten. As a result, the Black Sea region will continue to grow in importance and the role of price reporting and the publication of transparent and independently assessed prices of grains could carry great significance.

Additional factors will come to bear in the form of climate change, policy initiatives, financial instability and political risk. As an example, the political situation in Russia and Ukraine put additional strain on the market, with export restrictions and conflict increasing the importance of reliable and accurate reporting for stakeholders.

Platts is able to capitalize on its extensive commodity market experience to develop price reporting aimed at providing transparency in an industry and region which have not typically been subject to such oversight. The provision of independent prices could help in managing risk along the entire value chain, powering a new generation of financial instruments and delivering some protection in uncertain times.

Each day we provide four grains price assessments, looking at prices for Black Sea 12.5% protein FOB delivered wheat on vessels of up to 60,000 mt, Azov Sea 12.5% protein FOB delivered wheat on vessels of around 5,000 mt, Sea of Marmara 12.5% protein CIF delivered wheat on vessels of 5,000 mt and Black Sea, Ukrainian origin corn on vessels of up to 60,000 mt. Our daily grains reporting provides news, prices, commentary and analysis, while bid and offer prices heard in the physical market are also reported live on Platts' real time service Agriculture Alert.

The Platts Daily Grains price assessments are available in these services.

How do we assess the Black Sea grains market?

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Platts' Black Sea grain price assessments are based on robust and transparent market data that includes, but is not limited, to firm bids and offers, expressions of interest to trade and confirmed trades reported across the trading day.

Black Sea wheat and corn prices are assessed in US dollars per ton and reflect the tradable and repeatable spot market value at 1630 London time.

Platts gathers price data from a wide segment of the market, including wheat and corn producers, traders, brokers, and consumers.

Data collected by Platts is published in full on our real time service Platts Agriculture Alert and is summarized in our daily publication Daily Grains.

Evolution of the Black Sea grain market

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Platts began assessing Black Sea grains in Lausanne in 2014 and in London in 2015.

Platts now provides 4 daily market assessments, looking at prices for Black Sea Wheat, Azov Sea Wheat, Sea of Marmara Wheat and Black Sea Corn.

We continuously work with key industry stakeholders to ensure that our price assessments evolve in step with changing market conditions. Platts regularly holds methodology forums, webinars and one-to-one meetings to exchange views on the development of all its key markets, both in Europe and across the world.

Grains Price Assessment Methodology


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June 2, 2016
Tim Worledge on the likely impact of La Nina on the bread basket of Europe, the wheat fields of Australia, America's corn belt, the great sugar powerhouse of Brazil and the cane fields of India and Thailand.
April 14, 2016
The first wheat cargo to be imported into India this year arrived in Tuticorin from Australia this week, in spite of a 25% import duty remaining in place at least until June 30, market sources said Thursday.

How do you access the price for daily grains?

The Black Sea Grains prices can be accessed in the following Platts services.

Platts Daily Grains report

  • Daily prices – Four prices for Black Sea wheat and corn, all calculated using a rigorous and independent methodology
  • Daily market heards – Benchmark your own activity against that of the market with the latest reported bids, offers and trades
  • Daily assessment rationale – Gain full visibility into how our editorial team arrive at our prices so that you can feel confident when negotiating with your counterparties
  • Daily commentary – Add some color to the numbers you receive with additional insight into what is moving the markets and why

Agriculture Alert

  • Daily prices – Four prices for Black Sea wheat and corn, all calculated using a rigorous and independent methodology
  • Daily real-time news – Gain a rounded picture of market activity to support your investment decisions
  • Daily market heards – Benchmark your own activity against that of the market with the latest reported bids, offers and trades
  • Daily assessment rationale – Gain full visibility into how our editorial team arrive at our prices so that you can feel confident when negotiating with your counterparties
  • Monthly averages – A ready-made average for you to use in your term deals with your counterparty



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