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Russian wheat export prices slide on Egypt policy worries

Reuters, 18.02.16

MOSCOW Feb 16 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices fell last week, hit by concerns about future supply contracts to world No. 1 importer Egypt, analysts said on Tuesday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $179 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices in the Black Sea area at $181 per tonne, unchanged from a week earlier. Black Sea corn prices were up slightly to $164 a tonne, IKAR added.

Weeks of confusion about import restrictions to Egypt, the largest buyer of Russian wheat, have rattled traders. The country's state grain buyer, GASC, cancelled another tender on Sunday citing unsuitable prices.

Russia exported 23.1 million tonnes of grains, including 17.16 million tonnes of wheat, between July 1 and Feb. 10, the agriculture ministry said. The pace of grain exports was down 2 percent year-on-year.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat added 75 roubles compared with the end of the week earlier to 11,400 roubles ($148.52) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

SovEcon also said average prices for sunflower seeds were up 175 roubles at 26,600 roubles a tonne. Domestic sunflower oil prices added 500 roubles to 59,675 roubles a tonne, while FOB Black Sea export prices were up $10 at $775 a tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $549.87 a tonne at the end of last week, down $36.06 from a week earlier. ($1 = 76.7550 roubles) (Reporting by Jack Stubbs)

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