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Russian wheat export prices broadly flat

Business Recorder, 17.10.14

Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week after a three-week decline, supported by demand from the world's top wheat importer, Egyptian state buyer GASC, analysts said on Tuesday. Russia, a major global wheat exporter, won Friday's GASC tender after a pause when the country's prices were too strong to be competitive in most of its key markets.

However, the latest win of GASC's tender, in which 55,000 tonnes of Russian wheat were bought at $239.30 a tonne on a free-on-board basis (FOB), does not mean that Russia is back on the market with massive volumes, analysts said. "I would not make a far-reaching conclusions from this win," Dmitry Rylko, the head of IKAR, one of a leading Moscow-based agriculture consultancies, said.

Russia exported 12.7 million tonnes of grains, including 10.5 million tonnes of wheat, between the start of this 2014/15 season on July 1 and October 10. Its full-season exportable surplus is officially expected at 27-30 million tonne. IKAR said free-on-board (FOB) prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content in the Black Sea were at $234 per tonne last week, flat on the week before.

SovEcon, another agriculture consultancy, pegged FOB prices for wheat with the same protein content at $234.5 per tonne in deep-water ports, down $0.5. IKAR also said that the Azov Sea prices for wheat also with 12.5 percent protein content were down $2 at $206 per tonne as demand from Turkey eased. Russia's state interventions, in which the government purchases grain form domestic market, have started in a modest pace two weeks ago, IKAR added. The government has already bought 83,680 tonnes of grains, mostly for feed needs, out of up to 5 million tonnes it planned to buy this marketing year.

In the domestic sunflower seed market, SovEcon said prices rose 375 roubles to 12,400 roubles ($305), while IKAR pegged its index at $329 per tonne. According to SovEcon, FOB Black Sea prices for crude sunflower oil rose $10 to $800 a tonne, while IKAR pegged them at $790 per tonne, up $20.

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