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Russian wheat export prices fall on harvest forecasts

Reuters, 18.03.19

MOSCOW, March 18 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices fell again last week, weighed down by forecasts for a relatively strong next harvest, as well as a strengthening rouble, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in April were $222 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $4 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

"Prices are falling against the backdrop of the new harvest, which is forecast to be quite good. So there will be an even more noticeable fall then, I think," IKAR analyst Dmitry Rylko said.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices down $2.5 at $223 a tonne, compared to a drop of $10 last week.

The rouble exchange rate RUBUTSTN=MCX is working against exporters, analysts from the consultancy said.

The country exported 35.4 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to March 14, unchanged from a year ago, according to SovEcon. That included 29.7 million tonnes of wheat, up 5 percent from a year ago.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were unchanged at 12,000 roubles ($187.04) 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.

Sunflower seed prices were down 375 roubles to 19,225 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices fell by 350 roubles to 43,350 roubles a tonne, while export prices remained flat at around $650 a tonne.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $516.82 a tonne on March 15, down $4.14 from a week earlier.

($1 = 64.7935 roubles)

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