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Russian wheat prices fell last week due to weak rouble

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Russian wheat export prices fell last week on the back of a weaker rouble currency, which is close to its lowest level since April 2016 due to threats of more US sanctions, analysts said on Monday.

[MOSCOW] Russian wheat export prices fell last week on the back of a weaker rouble currency, which is close to its lowest level since April 2016 due to threats of more US sanctions, analysts said on Monday.

The decline in prices, however, was limited by speculation about potential export limits in Russia, the world's biggest wheat exporter.

Russian exporters may step up grain shipments in the next few months in anticipation that the government could put curbs on exports sometime after December, traders said.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 per cent protein content were at US$230 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down US$4 from a week earlier, Ikar said in a note.

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SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices down US$6.5 at US$227 a tonne, while barley was up US$1 at US$231 a tonne.

Thomson Reuters data showed that an average price of 12.5 per cent protein content wheat was down US$4.5 at US$224.5 per tonne FOB.

As of Aug 15, Russia had exported 6.8 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2018/19 season on July 1, a rise of 46 per cent compared to the same period the previous year. This included 5.5 million tonnes of wheat, the agriculture ministry said.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were up 50 roubles at 10,400 roubles (S$212.32) 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.

Prices for the new crop of sunflower seed are being set at 19,000-20,000 roubles per tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices rose by 325 roubles to 46,825 roubles a tonne, while export oil prices were down US$10 at US$690 per tonne, the agency said.

Ikar's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at US$418.6 a tonne as of Aug 17, down US$41.5 from a week earlier.

REUTERS

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