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Russian wheat export prices fall as risks for new crop ease

Reuters, 21.05.18

MOSCOW, May 21 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices fell last week as rains improved conditions for the new crop in Russia, analysts said on Monday.

Harvesting in Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, usually starts in the second half of June. The country produced a record grain crop in 2017 and prospects for this year's harvest are also good.

Black Sea prices for the new crop of Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $199 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $3 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted the new crop prices for July delivery at $198 a tonne.

IKAR pegged prices for the old crop with delivery in June down $3 to $210 a tonne amid low liquidity as buyers are waiting for the new crop. SovEcon quoted old crop FOB wheat prices down $0.5 to $212 a tonne with maize (corn) prices down $2 to $199 a tonne.

As of May 16, Russia had exported 46.6 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2017/18 season on July 1, including 36.2 million tonnes of wheat, the Agriculture Ministry said. Grain exports were up 45 percent from the same period of the previous season.

Russia's May exports of wheat, barley and maize are estimated at 4.9 million tonnes compared to 4.3 million tonnes in April, according to SovEcon.

Farmers have already sown spring grains on 49 percent of the planned area, or 15.3 million hectares, compared with 17.4 million hectares a year ago, according to the ministry.

Domestic prices for fourth-class wheat rose 50 roubles to 8,850 roubles ($142) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Sunflower seed prices rose 175 roubles to 21,250 roubles a tonne, SovEcon added. Domestic sunflower oil prices added 75 roubles to 44,500 roubles, while export oil prices fell $5 to $740 a tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $558.1 a tonne as of May 18, up $14 from a week earlier.

($1 = 62.3000 roubles)

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