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Russian wheat export prices fall, tracking global benchmarks

Reuters, 17.10.17

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices fell in quiet trade last week as global wheat benchmarks in Chicago and Paris declined on expectations of large crops in the main producing regions, including Russia, analysts said on Monday.

Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, is expected to harvest a record grain crop this year. As of Oct. 12, farmers had harvested 130.3 million tonnes of grain, before drying and cleaning, from 93 percent of the total area.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and October delivery were at $192 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier, agriculture consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said wheat prices fell $1 to $192.5, while barley stood at $189.5 per tonne.

As of Oct. 11, Russia had exported 13.6 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 marketing season on July 1, up 21 percent from a year earlier. Wheat exports were up 13.5 percent at 10.5 million tonnes.

Russian farmers have also sown winter grains for next year's crop on 88.9 percent of the planned area, or on 15.5 million hectares, compared with 14.8 million hectares by the same date a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said.

The condition of winter grain sowings is worse than around the same date in recent years due to the lack of moisture in the soil, SovEcon said.

However, rains are expected to come to the European part of Russia in the next one or two weeks and to improve their condition before the winter starts.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were flat at 8,175 roubles ($143), while prices for fourth-class rose 25 roubles to 7,400 roubles a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Russian sunflower seed prices were down 125 roubles at 17,050 roubles per tonne as the new crop hit the market, SovEcon said. IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia fell $18 to $414 a tonne as of Oct. 13.

($1 = 57.1474 roubles) (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Olga Popova; Editing by Mark Potter)

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