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Regional Roundups


CIS (Asian & European)

Export prices of wheat declined in April


In the exporting countries of the subregion, export prices of milling wheat declined in April following trends in the international markets and because of weak trade activity and the good outlook for the 2019 crops. Prices, however, remained higher than a year earlier particularly in Kazakhstan after sustained increases since late 2018 underpinned by large export sales. In the domestic market, prices of wheat weakened in the Russian Federation and Ukraine, while they increased seasonally in Kazakhstan and were overall higher than in April last year, supported by reduced domestic availabilities. In importing countries of the subregion, prices of wheat flour weakened in Tajikistan but remained higher than a year earlier due to the reduced 2018 crop and higher prices from its main supplier, Kazakhstan. Increased taxes for wheat processing and sale of final products also contributed to the higher prices. In Georgia, prices of wheat flour and bread weakened in April but remained more than 10 percent above their values in April last year underpinned by higher export prices of wheat flour from the Russian Federation. In Kyrgyzstan, average prices of wheat flour remained relatively stable and around their year-earlier levels reflecting the good 2018 output, which offset the upward pressure from higher export prices in the subregion. Prices of wheat flour held steady in Armenia and Azerbaijan in March, but were around 4 percent and 9 percent higher than a year earlier, respectively, while seasonal increases in Belarus were compounded by higher processing costs. With regard to potatoes, another basic staple food in the subregion, prices strengthened seasonally in the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan in April although remaining more than 10 percent and 20 percent lower year on year, respectively. Similarly, in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, prices of potatoes were well below their levels in April last year. In Georgia, seasonal increases in April were compounded by reduced domestic supplies, which pushed prices to levels nearly 20 percent up on a year earlier. Prices were significantly higher than a year earlier also in Armenia in March despite some weakening on a monthly basis, while in Belarus and Azerbaijan prices were lower year on year.