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Russian wheat export prices down

Reuters, 23.07.15

Russian wheat export prices fell last week as harvesting gathered pace and despite concerns over quality, analysts and a trader said on Monday. Harvesting in Russia, one of the world's major wheat exporters to North Africa and the Middle East, had been delayed in late June by rains in its main exporting regions but was now picking up again.

Black Sea forward prices for Russian new-crop wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $197 per tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $4 on a week earlier, the IKAR consultancy said. According to the SovEcon consultancy, wheat prices with the same protein content were down $1.50 to $199.5 per tonne at the end of last week, while barley prices declined $0.50 to $182 per tonne.

The decline in prices was caused by a seasonally high supply, a trader said, although the harvest still lags this time last year. Russian farmers had harvested 18.7 million tonnes of all grains from 11 percent of the total area as of July 16, down from 22.2 million tonnes at the same date a year ago. Yields were at 3.73 tonnes per hectare, up from 3.53 tonnes.

The country's grain stocks at farms and at procurement and processing companies, excluding small farms, were up 9 percent from a year earlier to 12.3 million tonnes as of July 1, data from the statistics service Rosstat showed. Domestic prices for fourth-class wheat were down 100 roubles compared with a week earlier at 9,050 roubles per tonne in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, SovEcon said.

Rains also continued to cause concern about wheat quality, IKAR said, adding however that it kept its 2015 wheat crop forecast at between 56 million and 59 million tonnes so far. SovEcon said that current FOB Black Sea prices for crude sunflower oil were unchanged at $830-840 per tonne, while prices for oil from the new sunseed crop for October delivery were unchanged at $760-770 per tonne, down $10.

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