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Russian wheat export prices rise with global benchmarks, stronger rouble

Reuters, 29.01.18


MOSCOW, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices rose last week due to higher global benchmarks and the strengthening of the rouble against the dollar, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $194.5 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $1.5 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 up $2 to $195 per tonne and maize (corn) prices up $3 to $171 per tonne. Prices for barley added $3 to $194.5 per tonne.

"The market strengthening was supported by positive dynamic in the global markets and the resumed strengthening of the rouble," SovEcon said.

Chicago wheat rose for a fourth consecutive session on Monday to its highest since early October with prices buoyed by concerns over dry weather curbing U.S. winter crop output. The rouble rose last week due to higher oil prices and on the back of a decision by Moody's to change its outlook on Russia's ratings to positive from stable.

Russia is expected to export 4.1 million tonnes of wheat, barley and maize (corn) in January, down from 4.9 million tonnes in December, SovEcon said on Friday.

"Loadings are running at a record pace for January despite the recent stormy weather in ports," it added.

By Jan. 24, Russia had exported 29.8 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 season on July 1, including 23.3 million tonnes of wheat, the ministry said. The pace of grain exports was up 35 percent compared to the same period in the previous season.

Meanwhile, risks for 2018 grain crop continue to decrease as the weather still favours Russia's winter grain sowings, SovEcon added. It currently expected Russia's 2018 grain crop at 128 million tonnes, including 77 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 25 roubles to 8,550 roubles ($152) a tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

New crop sunflower seed prices rose 50 roubles to 19,625 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices and export prices were flat at 43,825 roubles and $735 per tonne, respectively.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia rose $33.5 to $482.75 a tonne as of Jan. 26.

($1 = 56.2217 roubles)



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