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MOSCOW: Russian wheat export prices were broadly stable last week as traders interpreted a shipping standoff in the Kerch Strait between Russia and Ukraine, major global grain exporters, as a short-lived incident, analysts said on Monday.

Russia seized three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews on Nov. 25 in the incident which Moscow and Kiev have blamed on each other.

It happened near the Kerch Strait between Russian-annexed Crimea and southern Russia, which controls access to the Azov sea where Russian and Ukrainian ports are located.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for delivery in December remained flat at $225 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon quoted FOB wheat prices up $1 to $227 a tonne and barley - steady at $240 a tonne. Russia's Agriculture ministry sees FOB wheat prices flat at $228 per tonne.

As of Nov. 29, Russia had exported 24.3 million tonnes of grain since the start of the 2018/19 season on July 1, up 10 percent year on year. This included 20.4 million tonnes of wheat, the ministry said.

Russia is expected to export 43.2 million tonnes of grain, including 34.7 million tonnes of wheat, in the 2018/19 season, SovEcon said.

The country is finishing 2018 grain harvesting and the sowing of winter grains for the 2019 crop. SovEcon said last week that its preliminary estimate for Russia's 2019 grain crop was at 121 million tonnes, including 77.3 million tonnes of wheat.

This year, Russia's agriculture ministry sees grain crop at 110 million tonnes, including 70 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat were down 50 roubles to 10,700 roubles 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.

Sunflower seed prices rose by 275 roubles to 18,050 roubles a tonne as consumers have started building up stockpiles ahead of Russia's long New Year holiday due in early January, SovEcon said.

Domestic sunflower oil prices were down 100 roubles to 42,000 roubles a tonne, while export oil prices fell $5 to $625 per tonne, the agency said.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $555.3 a tonne as of Nov. 30, down $11.7 from a week earlier.

Copyright Reuters, 2018
 

 

 

 

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