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MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week amid thin trade during an official holiday in Russia and higher wheat prices in Chicago, Sovecon agriculture consultancy said on Wednesday.

Prices for wheat with 12.5% protein content for supply in May from Black Sea ports were up by $5 to $385-395 free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, according to Sovecon.

Sovecon said Russia exported 440,000 tonnes of grains last week, citing data from ports, compared with 780,000 tonnes a week earlier. The consultancy expects the pace of wheat exports from Russia to slow down significantly in May and June from 2.7 million tonnes in April as the state export quota is being depleted.

In the domestic market, demand from exporters is close to zero, Sovecon said, adding that farmers are increasing supply as they need to finance the current sowing campaign and to clean up their storage before they harvest the new crop in summer. Spring grains were planted on 7.3 million hectares as of May 5 vs 6.1 million hectares a year ago as the sowing campaign accelerated in Russia’s central and Volga regions, Sovecon said.

The weather in Russia’s main grain producing regions was mostly dry last week, but a large part of the southern region - the country’s breadbasket - got good rains, Sovecon said, adding that light rains were expected this week.

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