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Russian wheat export prices up slightly last week

MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week following a recent strengthening of the rouble against the dollar, analysts said on Monday.

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MOSCOW - Russian wheat export prices rose slightly last week following a recent strengthening of the rouble against the dollar, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5 percent protein content and for supply in April were at $183 a metric ton on a free-on-board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, up $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

Prices for supply in March were up $1 at $181 per metric ton, IKAR added. SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, also quoted FOB wheat prices in the Black Sea area at $181 per metric ton.

Prices in the shallow-water ports rose $4 to $159 a metric ton thanks to high demand, according to IKAR.

Russia exported 27.4 million metric tons of grains, including 20.0 million metric tons of wheat, between July 1 and March 23, the agriculture ministry said. Grain exports were up 5.5 percent year-on-year.

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Including supplies to Kazakhstan, which Russian official customs data exclude, Russian wheat exports have already reached 20.3 million metric tons and maize (corn) exports totalled 3.3 million metric tons, according to IKAR.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 100 roubles last week to 10,925 roubles ($160) 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.

Russian farmers are continuing spring grains sowing at a faster pace than last year and they have already sown 590,800 hectares, while weather for winter grains has returned to favourable conditions after short-term night frosts.

"Cold weather is not expected to return soon. The damage for winter grains, if there was any, was probably quite insignificant," SovEcon said.

SovEcon also said average prices for sunflower seeds fell 575 roubles last week to 24,850 roubles a metric ton. Domestic sunflower oil prices fell 325 roubles to 55,000 roubles a metric ton, while FOB Black Sea export prices were up $10 to $780 a metric ton.

IKAR's white sugar price index for southern Russia was at $589 a metric ton at the end of last week, down $1.7 from a week earlier.

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