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Russian wheat prices rise further on strong export demand

Reuters, 28.10.19

MOSCOW, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Prices for Russian wheat rose further last week thanks to strong export demand and hopes it would be supplied to Saudi Arabia following a tender there, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content and for the nearest supply were up $1 to $208 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another agricultural consultancy in Moscow, pegged wheat prices at $210.5 per tonne, up $5.5. Barley rose $4 to $185 per tonne.

Last week, Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO bought 605,000 tonnes of wheat with expected arrival in Saudi Arabia in February and March 2020. Origins offered were the European Union, Black Sea region, North America (excluding Canada), South America and Australia with the seller having the option of selecting the origin supplied.

"Russia is likely to be among the suppliers... Traders sell optional origin so we will know how much of it will come from Russia only after the shipments," SovEcon said.

Russia exported 16 million tonnes of grain between the start of the 2019/20 season on July 1 and Oct. 21, its agriculture ministry said. It did not provide any data for comparison or separate data with wheat exports.

Prices for third-class wheat in European parts of Russia rose 350 roubles to 10,925 roubles ($172) a tonne on the domestic market by the end of last week, SovEcon said. That price was on an ex-works basis, which excludes delivery costs.

Russian farmers have already sown winter grains for next year's crop on 101.4% of the originally planned area, or 17.7 million hectares.

IKAR expects the area under winter wheat to exceed the previous record set last year and reach 16.3 million hectares compared with 15.95 million a year ago.

"Winter wheat remains one of most stable and attractive crops in Russia," it added. Russia is the world's largest wheat exporter.

Sunflower seed prices fell further with the arrival of the new crop, sliding 375 roubles to 15,650 roubles a tonne, while domestic sunflower oil prices fell by 250 roubles to 41,750 roubles a tonne, SovEcon added. FOB export prices for sunflower oil were down $5 to $670 a tonne.

IKAR said its price index for white sugar from southern Russia fell by $4 to $308.5 a tonne.

($1 = 63.6000 roubles)

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