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MOSCOW: Russian wheat prices have remained largely unchanged since the start of the year in thin holiday trading but may trend upwards as severe frosts hamper winter crops, analysts said on Tuesday.

Prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content and for supply from Black Sea ports have not changed much since late December, at $306 per tonne for free on board (FOB) delivery in the first half of February, IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

“Markets are not well shaped yet, we expect them searching new post-holiday equilibriums during (the) current week,” IKAR head Dmitry Rylko said.

Analysts from Sovecon consultancy said there were severe frosts in southern and central regions of Russia, and crops could be lost if topsoil temperatures dropped from current levels of minus 10-12°C to below 15 for the rest of the week.

“Weather is to remain cold for a few more days and we could see some winter kill which can start to happen with topsoil temperature below minus 15°C ... If models are right and it will get warmer after Jan. 11-12 it will be limited, if cold weather stays it could evolve into a bigger bullish story,”Sovecon said.

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