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Russian wheat export prices flat on rouble volatility

Reuters, 10.01.16

Russian wheat export prices were flat in the last week, reflecting rouble currency volatility and weak global benchmarks, analysts said on Tuesday. The rouble, trading around lows for the year against the dollar due to depressed oil prices, has lost 8 percent this month and triggered a rise in Russia's wheat export tax.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were flat compared with a week earlier at $189 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said. Prices in the Azov Sea area, via which Russia supplies wheat to Turkey, were also steady at $157 per tonne, it said in a note. SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, also quoted FOB wheat prices in the Black Sea area at $189 per tonne. The wheat export tax is set at 50 percent of the customs price minus 6,500 roubles ($90) per tonne, but not less than 10 roubles per tonne.

Prices in the domestic market have been supported by demand from the agriculture ministry, which bought 100,600 tonnes of grain to replenish state stocks last week, and by high market activity ahead of long New Year holidays. Domestic prices for third-class wheat added 50 roubles to 11,000 roubles ($152) per tonne in the European part of Russia, on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. SovEcon also said average prices for sunflower seeds were up 225 roubles at 25,425 roubles per tonne. Domestic sunflower oil prices rose 250 roubles to 55,075 roubles per tonne, while export prices were down $10 to $780 per tonne.

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