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Russian wheat export prices stable amid high stocks, flat benchmarks

Reuters, 05.12.17

Russian wheat export prices were broadly stable last week amid flat Chicago wheat prices, a global benchmark for the market, and high grain stocks in Russia despite strong export demand, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content for December delivery were $191 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $0.5 from a week earlier, agriculture consultancy IKAR said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said wheat and maize (corn) prices remained at $191.5 per tonne and $165 a tonne, respectively. IKAR pegged prices for barley and maize at $192 and $163, respectively.

Russia’s official grain exports data for November is yet to be published. SovEcon expects a record 5 million tonnes, including 4 million tonnes of wheat. “It is a very high level for November when the pace of exports from ports usually declines due to (stormy) weather conditions,” SovEcon added.

By Nov. 29, Russia had exported 21.8 million tonnes of grain since the start of the season on July 1, up 30 percent year-on-year, the agriculture ministry said. Wheat exports were up 28 percent at 16.9 million tonnes.

The state buyer of Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, bought 120,000 tonnes of Russian wheat in a tender on Nov. 28. The wheat is for delivery on Jan. 11-20.

Russia’s grain stocks at farms and procurement and processing companies, excluding small farms, were up 16 percent year-on-year at 56 million tonnes as of Nov. 1.

The country, which is set to produce a record grain crop this year, has already harvested 139.3 million tonnes of grain before drying and cleaning. Its farmers have also sown winter grains for next year’s crop on 98.4 percent of the planned area.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were up 25 roubles at 8,525 roubles ($144.5), while for fourth-class wheat they fell 25 roubles to 7,525 roubles a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Russian sunflower seed prices rose 175 roubles to 17,650 roubles a tonne last week, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices and FOB export oil prices were flat at 44,425 roubles per tonne and $750 a tonne, respectively.

IKAR’s white sugar price index for southern Russia was down $9.5 to $435 a tonne as of Dec. 1.

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