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Holidays, fee confusion slows Russian grain market - analysts

Reuters, 12.01.11

MOSCOW, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Russian grain market activity slowed down last week ahead of long year-end holidays and amid confusion about fees for transportation of grain from the south of Russia to drought-hit regions, analysts said on Monday.

The announcement of a forthcoming start of grain sales from the government intervention stocks tended to cool the market, the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR) said.

But the lack of an official decision on the extension of railway transportation subsidy for shipments from the south of Russia, due to expire on Jan. 1, confused market players, it added.

According to IKAR sources, the subsidy has been extended until the end of the calendar year of 2011, although an official announcement has yet to be made.

SovEcon said prices rose slightly last week by some 50 roubles ($1.64) per tonne on the average. Only barley added 150 roubles to 8,375 roubles per tonne, EXW European Russia.

In the south of Russia, rouble-denominated prices were unchanged, while dollar prices of wheat declined.

Third-grade wheat fell to $209 per tonne from $221, fourth-grade to $200 from $210, feed wheat to $195 from $204. Feed barley rose to $256 from $252. Maize prices were unchanged at $271 per tonne, IKAR said.

Sunseed prices fell to $688 from $690, while sunoil prices rose slightly to $1,545 per tonne from $1,530, IKAR said.

SovEcon said rouble-denominated sunseed prices fell by 250 roubles to 21,125 roubles per tonne, while crude sunoil prices fell by 500 roubles to 48,500 roubles per tonne.

Following global market dynamics, Russian white sugar prices rose to 34,500 roubles from 32,800 and to $1,128 from $1,067.

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