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Russian wheat prices boosted by gains in global benchmarks

Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, due to arrive on the market in the summer, advanced further last week alongside a rise in global benchmark prices in Chicago, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for the Russian new wheat crop with 12.5pc protein content were $188 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB new crop for July delivery at $187 per tonne at the end of last week, up from $184.5 a week earlier. Russia usually starts wheat harvesting in late June or early July.

Chicago wheat rose last week after forecasts for more rain increased concerns about delays to spring planting and damage to maturing winter wheat in the United States.

Russia exported 40.5 million tonnes of grain from the start of the current 2018/19 marketing season on July 1, 2018, to May 23, down 15pc from a year earlier, according to SovEcon. That included 33.4 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 25 roubles to 11,900 roubles ($185) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

By May 24, farmers had sown spring grains on 78pc of the planned area, or 23 million hectares, compared with 20 million hectares a year ago, Russia’s agriculture ministry said.

Some rain arrived in several regions in the European part of Russia last week, although there was less of it than previously expected, SovEcon said.

The Volga region and parts of the southern regions were drier than on average in previous years, while the Central region saw plenty of rain.

“More showers are expected in the next two weeks, although precipitation in the Volga Valley is expected to remain below normal,” SovEcon said.

Sunflower seed prices were stable at 18,475 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said.

Domestic sunflower oil prices rose by 425 roubles to 42,350 roubles a tonne, while FOB export prices for sunflower oil fell $5 to $680 a tonne after touching an eight-month-high a week earlier, SovEcon said.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $449.7 a tonne on May 17, down $7 from a week earlier.
Source: Reuters

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