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Russian wheat prices down as harvesting gathers pace

Reuters, 08.08.17

MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices fell last week after increasing or being stable for 11 straight weeks as Black Sea wheat producers speed up harvesting, analysts said on Monday.

Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan anticipate strong exports in the current 2017/18 marketing year as recent good weather has buoyed their expectations for bumper crops.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for August delivery were $194 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier, IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note.

Prices for wheat with 11.5 percent protein content fell $4 to $179 a tonne, it added.

The situation with the quality of the crop, however, has been mixed so far. "Exporters are pointing out to limited number of offers of wheat with protein content of 13 percent or higher with hefty offering of protein of 11.5 percent or below," SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said.

SovEcon added that barley prices rose $4.5 to $175-179 per tonne amid strong demand.

As of Aug. 2, Russia had exported 2.6 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 marketing season on July 1, up 21 percent from a year ago. That included 1.6 million tonnes of wheat, down 7.5 percent from the same period a year ago.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 125 roubles to 9,050 roubles ($151) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

"Prices are going down under pressure from the new high harvest and significant stocks," SovEcon said. Russia's grain harvesting has been delayed by rainy weather in several regions this year but is gathering pace.

Russian sunflower seed prices were up 350 roubles at 19,950 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said, while domestic sunflower oil prices rose 325 roubles to 44,325 roubles and export oil prices were flat at $740 per tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was $79.6 down at $543 a tonne as of Aug. 4.

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