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Russian wheat prices flat amid support from global benchmark

Reuters, 03.09.18

MOSCOW, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices finished last week unchanged as an early fall was offset by growth in the global benchmark in Chicago WZ8 due to concerns about tightening supplies, analysts said.

The worries were focused on speculation that new economic measures due to be announced by the Argentine government on Monday might include grain export restrictions, and that Russia may curb wheat exports later this season.

Russia's agriculture ministry will discuss the grain market situation, production and export plans during a routine meeting with exporters on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $225 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, unchanged from a week earlier, IKAR agriculture consultancy said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, and Thomson Reuters data KTS-W12RUBS-FOB quoted FOB wheat at $223 a tonne. Barley was flat at $231 a tonne, SovEcon said.

The agriculture ministry is yet to release grain export data for last week. By Aug. 29, Russia had exported 9.3 million tonnes of grain since the July 1 start of the 2018/19 season, up 35 percent from the same period the previous year, SovEcon said, citing customs data. This included 7.8 million tonnes of wheat.

It raised its estimate for Russia's August grain exports by 500,000 tonnes to 5.0 million tonnes due to rising exports.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were up 200 roubles at 10,750 roubles ($159) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Prices for the new crop of sunflower seed are being set at around 19,500 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic prices for sunflower oil added 350 roubles at 47,175 roubles a tonne, while export prices were flat at $685 per tonne.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $381.9 a tonne as of Aug. 31, up $9.8 from a week earlier.

($1 = 67.7201 roubles)

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