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Russian wheat broadly flat after rouble fall, benchmarks rise

MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week amid a weakening rouble and a rise in global benchmark prices, analysts and a trader said on Monday.

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Combine harvesters work on a wheat field of the Solgonskoye farming company near the village of Talniki, southwest from Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, Russia. REUTERS/Ilya Naymushin

MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week amid a weakening rouble and a rise in global benchmark prices, analysts and a trader said on Monday.

Russia, one of the world's largest wheat exporters, has harvested 107 million tons of grain before drying and cleaning so far this year. The agriculture ministry sees a 2015 grain crop at 102 million tons by clean weight, down 3 million tons from a year ago.

"There has not been any significant action in terms of prices," a trader told Reuters.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were up $1 at $198 per ton on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week from a week earlier, agricultureconsultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, said FOB prices were down $1.5 to $200 per ton.

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Domestic prices for third-class wheat added 75 roubles to 10,675 roubles ($166.5) per ton in the European part of Russia, on an ex-works basis, thanks to demand from exporters searching for volumes for their previously agreed contracts, SovEcon said.

As for maize (corn), according to SovEcon, FOB prices were at $168-170 per ton.

SovEcon also said average prices for sunflower seeds were down 250 roubles at 22,825 roubles per ton. Domestic sunflower oil prices were 250 roubles lower at 49,600 roubles per ton, while export prices were flat at $790 per ton.

Russia has already harvested 9.2 million tons of sunflower seeds this year, up from 8.3 million tons a year ago. SovEcon is currently keeping its forecast for Russia's 2015 crop unchanged at 9.4 million tonsof sunseeds and 14.3 million tons of oilseeds in total.

The agriculture ministry expects the 2015 oilseeds harvest to be 14 million tons, up from last year's 13.8 million tons. That will allow the country to export 2.4 million tons of vegetable oils and to cover the domestic demand of 2 million tons, the ministry said in a statement on Monday.

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