Ukraine wheat prices rise as virus stokes fear of shortage

KIEV, March 26 (Reuters) - A jump in demand from importers, fearing a shortage of wheat because of possible restrictions by some suppliers, has caused an increase in Ukrainian milled wheat export prices, consultancy APK-Inform said on Thursday.

The spread of the novel coronavirus has made some nations look at imposing restrictions. Neighbouring Russia is considering limiting sunseed sales.

"The rise in prices was also facilitated by the need for traders to fulfil export contracts against the background of restraining sales by farmers and similar price dynamics in the Russian market," the consultancy said in a report.

It said Ukrainian milled 12.5% protein wheat had increased by $7 per tonne since the start of this week and reached $207-$211 per tonne FOB Black Sea.

The 11.5% protein wheat is trading at $205-$209 per tonne, it said.

Ukraine, a major global exporter of wheat, has exported 17.5 million tonnes of the commodity so far in the 2019/20 season, 4.4 million more than at the same date in 2018/19 season, economy ministry data showed.

Ukraine plans to export up to 20 million tonnes of wheat in the 2019/20 July-June season versus 15.6 million tonnes in 2018/19. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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