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Russian wheat export prices broadly flat as rouble strengthens

MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week as the rouble strengthened, making it more difficult for traders to drop their prices in dollar terms, analysts said on Wednesday.

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MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices were broadly flat last week as the rouble strengthened, making it more difficult for traders to drop their prices in dollar terms, analysts said on Wednesday.

Russian wheat traders are trying to return to more competitive levels amid a decline in global benchmarks, but domestic sellers are reluctant to agree to significantly lower wheat prices while the rouble is strengthening, analysts have said.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content were at $179 a metric ton on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, flat compared with a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, quoted FOB wheat prices in the Black Sea area at $179.5 per metric ton, down $1.

Russia exported 25.5 million metric tons of grains, including 18.9 million metric tons of wheat, between July 1 and March 2, the agriculture ministry said. The pace of grain exports was up 3 percent year on year.

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IKAR said it had recently raised its forecast for Russia's full-year 2015/16 wheat exports to 24 million metric tons from previously expected 23.5 million metric tons. According to an estimate by that consultancy, Russia has already exported 19.1 million metric tons of wheat so far this season.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 75 roubles compared with the end of the previous week to 11,300 roubles ($157) a metric ton in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

SovEcon also said average prices for sunflower seeds were down 450 roubles at 26,100 roubles a metric ton. Domestic sunflower oil prices fell 675 roubles to 57,325 roubles a metric ton, while FOB Black Sea export prices were down $10 to $750 a metric ton.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $558 a metroc ton at the end of last week, up $8 from a week earlier. 

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