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Russian wheat prices fall further alongside global benchmarks

Reuters, 25.02.19

MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices fell further last week, tracking a decline in U.S. wheat futures , which were under pressure because of lacklustre interest in North American supplies from some major wheat importers, analysts said on Monday.

Russian wheat also mostly lost out in a purchasing tender from Egypt, the largest buyer of its wheat, as it remains too expensive compared with rivals after price rises in previous weeks.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content for delivery in March were $234 a tonne, free on board (FOB), at the end of last week, down $6 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, pegged FOB wheat prices down $3 to $240.5 per tonne. Barley prices fell $3 to $226 per tonne, it said.

Egypt’s state buyer, GASC bought 180,000 tonnes of French wheat at FOB $234.5 per tonne. It also purchased 60,000 tonnes each from Ukraine, Romania and Russia at $237.5, $238.2 and $238 a tonne, respectively.

SovEcon said it believed the one Russian cargo Egypt purchased in the tender was a one-off as the Russian origin is still too expensive for Egyptian tenders in general.

Russia exported 33.4 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to Feb. 21, unchanged from a year ago, according to SovEcon. That included 28.3 million tonnes of wheat, up 8 percent.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell by 150 roubles to 12,125 roubles ($186) 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.

The supply from farmers is rising, SovEcon said, adding that it continued to expect a gradual decline in domestic prices in coming weeks due to more active domestic offerings from farmers.

Russia’s Agriculture Ministry continued sales of grain from its stockpile last week, when it sold 52,400 tonnes of wheat. It has sold 1.6 million tonnes of grain, including 1.36 million tonnes of wheat, since the start of these sales during the current marketing year.

Sunflower seed prices were up 50 roubles to 20,050 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices fell by 350 roubles to 43,500 roubles a tonne, while export prices declined by $5 to $650 a tonne.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $534 a tonne on Feb. 22, up $8 from a week earlier.

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