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Rains arrive too late for crops of some of Russian regions

Reuters, 09.05.20

* Rains arrived to Russia's south, are too late for some regions
* SovEcon cuts its forecast for Russia's 2020 grain crop
* Russia's April-June wheat export quota was reached on April 26
* Russia exported 3.7 mln T of grain in April -SovEcon

MOSCOW, May 8 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices for the old crop were stable this week in quiet trade due to the long May holiday, limited export demand and thanks to rains which arrived to Russia's south after dry weather, the SovEcon agriculture consultancy said. Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, saw persistent dry weather in April, which was replaced by rains in May.

However, Sovecon, one of the leading agriculture consultancies in Moscow, said these rains arrived too late to fix some of the damage. "The rains improved crop conditions substantially but serious damage has been done already to Stavropol and parts of Krasnodar (regions)," SovEcon said.

Russia is approaching the key stage for yields of the new crop, which is due to arrive this summer.

SovEcon said it downgraded its forecast for Russia's 2020 grain crop but has yet to disclose the new estimate. The next two weeks are expected to be slightly drier than normal again in the Krasnodar, Stavropol and southern Rostov regions, the main area for wheat production and exports, it added.

Conditions for the crop remain average or better in the Central Black Earth and the Volga regions. Russian wheat with 12.5% protein loaded from Black Sea ports and for the nearest delivery was stable at $228 a tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of this week, SovEcon said in a note.

Barley was steady at $180 a tonne. Prices for the new crop are being formed at $198-200 per tonne of wheat and $160-162 per tonne of barley, Sovecon said. It will no longer report prices for the old crop due to the lack of offers.

Russia's domestic wheat prices fell with demand from exporters as the April-June export quota, put in place in response to the coronavirus crisis, was reached on April 26. Russia's April grain exports totalled about 3.7 million tonnes, SovEcon said. Russia has public holidays on May 9-11 and was also on holiday on May 1-5.

Other Russian data provided by SovEcon and IKAR: Product: Price at the end Change from week of last week: earlier - Domestic 3rd 14,125 rbls/t -125 rbls class wheat, ($192.15) European part of Russia, excludes delivery (SovEcon) - Sunflower seeds 23,650 rbls/t +1,025 rbls (SovEcon) - Domestic 50,850 rbls/t +675 roubles sunflower oil (SovEcon) - export sunflower $690/t +$10 oil (SovEcon) - white sugar, $334.6/t +$2 Russia's south (IKAR) ($1 = 73.5107 roubles)

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