Russian wheat export prices rose for the second week in a row, buoyed by world markets, and shipments may set a new record for March, analysts said. The price of 12.5% protein Russian wheat scheduled for free-on-board (FOB) delivery in April was $204.5 a metric ton, up $3.5 from the previous week, the IKAR agriculture consultancy reported.

The Sovecon agriculture consultancy pegged the same class of wheat at $202 to $205 a ton FOB, compared with $201 to $204 a week earlier. Russia exported 1.27 million tons of grain last week, up from 1.20 million tons the previous week. The exports included 1.14 million tons of wheat, up from 0.93 million tons a week earlier, Sovecon wrote, citing port data. The consultancy raised its estimate for wheat exports in March by 0.2 million tons to 5.0 million tons, a record for March, compared to 4.8 million tons a year ago. The Ministry of Agriculture last week reported that the pace of spring sowing was twice as fast as last year and that the area under spring crops amounted to 1 million hectares.

Weather conditions are deteriorating gradually for new winter crops due to a lack of precipitation in recent weeks, Sovecon said. Overall, the Russian wheat crop outlook is still good, however. Sovecon revised up its new crop estimate by 0.4 million tons to 94.0 million tons. Other Russian data provided by Sovecon and IKAR: Product: Most recent data: Change from a week earlier - Domestic 3rd class 11,475 rbls/t -25 rbls/t wheat, European part of Russia, excludes delivery (Sovecon) - Sunflower seeds 23,825 rbls/t +300 rbls/t (Sovecon) - Domestic sunflower 71,675 rbls/t +825 rbls/t oil (Sovecon) - Domestic soybeans 37,900 rbls/t 0 rbls/t (Sovecon) - Export sunflower $800/t +$10 oil (IKAR) - White sugar, $652.53/t -$9.84/t Russia's south (IKAR) (Reporting by Olga Popova; Editing by Kevin Liffey)