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Russian wheat prices up on stronger rouble

Reuters, 30.01.19

Russian wheat export prices rose last week due to stronger rouble currency and seasonally lower supply, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in February were $245 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, pegged FOB wheat prices at $247.5 per tonne. Barley prices fell $2 to $234 a tonne, it said.

Russia exported 30.5 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to Jan. 24, up 3 percent year on year, according to SovEcon. That included 25.9 million tonnes of wheat, up 11 percent.

There was a sharp growth in Russian domestic wheat prices last week due to higher export prices and lower supply as some farmers are holding back sales from their stockpiles in the hope of seeing further price growth in coming weeks, SovEcon said.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat rose by 425 roubles to 11,975 roubles ($181) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

Farmers will need cash for a spring grain-sowing campaign in February-April depending on Russia's region, it added.

Russia's Agriculture ministry resumed sales of grain from its stockpile last week, when it sold 161,800 tonnes of grain, including 148,000 tonnes of wheat. It has sold 1.2 million tonnes of grain, including 971,000 tonnes of wheat, since the start of these sales this marketing year.

Sunflower seed prices rose by 125 roubles to 19,025 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices rose by 175 roubles to 42,850 roubles a tonne, while export prices added $5 following a growth in the Ukrainian prices and reached $630 a tonne.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $542.4 a tonne at Jan. 25, down $10 from a week earlier.

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