Russian wheat prices down as geopolitical fears keep rouble weak

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MOSCOW, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Russian wheat export prices fell for a third week running last week, with the rouble still weak against the dollar amid tensions between Moscow and the West.

The West threatened to impose fresh sanctions against Russia if it takes aggressive steps towards Ukraine. Russia denies that it is planning an attack, but the rouble remains volatile because of the persisting geopolitical fears.

Wheat prices in Chicago also remain supported by fears of disruption to Black Sea grain shipments if the standoff between Russia and the West escalates.

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Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content loading from Black Sea ports for supply in March stood at $325 a tonne free on board (FOB) last week, down $1 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy said.

Sovecon, another consultancy, pegged wheat $1 down at $330 a tonne, with barley up $1 at $296 a tonne.

Russian wheat exports are down by 41% since the start of the 2021/22 marketing season on July 1 because of a smaller crop and an export tax that had been set at $93.90 a tonne for Feb. 2-8.

Other Russian data provided by Sovecon and IKAR:

($1 = 77.6200 roubles)

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Reporting by Olga Popova and Polina Devitt Editing by David Goodman

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