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MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices declined again last week, but analysts see demand picking up at these levels.

The price of 12.5%-protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in the latter part of November was $224 per metric ton last week, down $1 from the week before, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

IKAR analysts nonetheless said some signs of stabilization were emerging after quite a long period of decline, and some demand.

The Sovecon agriculture consultancy saw the price for the same class of wheat last week at $228-236 per ton FOB, down $7 from the week before.

“Russian wheat has regained its competitive edge recently. Additionally, with a stronger rouble and smaller margins, it looks like exporters can’t lower FOB additionally from the current levels,” Sovecon said in the weekly report.

Russia exported 1.08 million tons of grain last week compared with 1.02 million tons a week earlier, including 0.94 million tons of wheat, compared with 1.00 million tons a week earlier, Sovecon wrote in its weekly note, citing port data.

The estimate of wheat exports in October was revised up 0.1 million tons from last week to 4.2 million tons, compared with 4.5 million tons a year ago and 4.1 million tons on average.

The wheat harvest as of Oct. 19 totalled 92.9 million tons versus 104.2 million tons year earlier, from 28.4 million hectares planted versus the previous year’s 29.1 million hectares.

The average yield came in at 3.27 tons per hectare, against 3.59 tons per hectare a year before.

Sowing of winter grains was carried out on an area of 16.1 million hectares, up from 15.8 million hectares a year earlier, Sovecon wrote.

“The top grower (among Russian regions), South, remains too dry, and the plants are expected to enter the winter in below-average shape,” Sovecon analysts said.

IKAR said on Monday it has raised its 2023-24 grain crop forecast to 142.2 million metric tons, up from an earlier 141.6 million.

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