MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices fell last week due to pressure from the new crop, which farmers have just started harvesting, a reduced export tax and a decline in Chicago prices, analysts said on Monday.

Sanctions-hit Russia reduced its grain exports taxes sharply last week to support shipments in the July-June marketing season.

Prices for the new wheat crop with 12.5% protein content and for supply from Black Sea ports fell by $25 to $375 per tonne free on board (FOB) at the end of last week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

Sovecon, another consultancy, said wheat prices for supply in July-August were at $375-385 per tonne compared to $390-$400 a week ago.

Russia exported 250,000 tonnes of grain last week compared with 500,000 tonnes a week earlier, Sovecon, said, citing data from ports.

Russian farmers, mainly in the southern Stavropol region, have started harvesting new crop wheat.

As of June 30, they had harvested from 92,200 hectares versus 117,900 hectares at the same date a year earlier. The average yield was 2.73 tonnes per hectare, up from 2.35 a year earlier.

“This does not look like a great yield but bear in mind that farmers typically harvest the worst fields first which suffered the most during the earlier dryness,” Sovecon said.

Dry weather in most parts of Russia’s southern regions is expected to benefit the harvesting this week after rain last week.

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