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Russian wheat export prices flat as exports stay at record high

Reuters, 25.10.17

Russian wheat export prices were largely flat last week as the country continued to export record grain volumes, analysts said on Monday.

Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer and the biggest buyer of Russian wheat, bought 230,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a state tender last week.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for November delivery were at $192.5 a tonne on a free-on-board basis at the end of last week, up slightly from $192 a week earlier, agriculture consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said wheat and barley prices remained at $192.5 per tonne and $189.5 per tonne, respectively.

Maize (corn) prices were up at $164-166 per tonne from $161-163 in early October.

Geneva-based grain trading firm Grainbow filed a case in an Egyptian administrative court against Egypt’s state grain buyer GASC in relation to a Russian wheat sale, sources close to the matter told Reuters last week.

Risks for Russian wheat supplies to Egypt may rise slightly due to the Grainbow case, SovEcon said. Only suppliers of French and Romanian wheat have been experiencing issues with Egyptian quarantine inspections in recent months, while Russian wheat has had no problem with Egyptian regulation since March.

As of Oct. 18, Russia had exported 14.447 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 marketing season on July 1, up 22.3 percent from a year earlier. Wheat exports were up 15.7 percent at 11.202 million tonnes.

Russia, one of the world’s largest wheat exporters, is expected to produce a record grain crop this year. As of Oct. 19, farmers had harvested 133 million tonnes of grain, before drying and cleaning, from 95 percent of the total area.

Its farmers have also sown winter grains for next year’s crop on 93 percent of the planned area, or on 16.2 million hectares, compared with 15.8 million hectares by the same date a year ago, the Agriculture Ministry said.

Most of the European part of Russia saw rains last week, which should improve the condition of winter grain sowings, SovEcon said.

Domestic prices for third- and fourth-class wheat were flat at 8,175 roubles and 7,400 roubles a tonne, respectively, 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 continue to fall as the new crop hits the market. They were down 425 roubles at 16,600 roubles per tonne last week, SovEcon said.

IKAR’s white sugar price index for southern Russia fell $6 to $408 a tonne as of Oct. 20.

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