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Russian wheat export prices stable on favourable crop conditions

Reuters, 08.04.19

MOSCOW, April 8 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices were stable last week as strong demand from exporters was balanced by favourable crop conditions and a relatively steady rouble, analysts said on Monday.

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

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said FOB wheat prices were steady at $226 a tonne.

"Weather conditions are shaping up favourably for the new crop so far," SovEcon said. The European part of Russia and part of Ukraine can expect rain and snow within the next two weeks, it added.

Between 4 percent and 6 percent of grain sowings this winter are classed as being in a bad condition, Anna Strashnaya, a senior researcher at the Hydrometcentre weather forecasting service said last month.

As of April 5, farmers had sown spring grains on 3.3 percent of the planned area, or 968,000 hectares, compared with 391,000 hectares a year ago, the ministry added.

Russia exported 37.2 million tonnes of grain from the start of the season on July 1 to April 4, down 6 percent from a year ago, SovEcon said. That included 31.3 million tonnes of wheat, unchanged from a year ago.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were stable at 12,075 roubles ($185) 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.

Russia's agriculture ministry continued to sell grain from its stockpile last week, offloading 14,000 tonnes of wheat. It has sold 1.73 million tonnes of grain, including 1.47 million tonnes of wheat, since the start of these sales this marketing year.

Sunflower seed prices were down at 18,975 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices dropped 150 roubles to 42,525 roubles a tonne, while export prices were stable at $640 a tonne.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia fell $13 to $500.50 a tonne from a week earlier.

($1 = 65.1625 roubles)

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