MOSCOW, March 24. /ITAR-TASS/. World grain prices continue to rise because of unfavourable weather conditions in the United States, as well as due to the importers’ apprehension over the possible drop in grain shipping from Black Sea ports in connection with the instable situation in Ukraine, Russia’s Agriculture Ministry said in a monitoring report on the situation on the agro-industrial markets.

Over the third week of March, soft wheat average prices in the United States rose by 5% to 300 US dollars per tonne. The previous week, the prices had already gone up by 10 dollars (3.6%) to 286 dollars per tonne. Meanwhile, the Russian grain export in 2013-2014 agricultural year (since the beginning of July 2013) reached 19.7 million tonnes, increasing by 41% compared with the previous similar period.

In March 2014 the Russian Agriculture Ministry has already upgraded the grain export forecast from 20 million to 22 million tonnes. Because of the price rises and weakening of the national currency it becomes more profitable for Russian traders to sell grain abroad, Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov had said.

However, the price rises do not considerably affect the level of consumer prices of bread, the ministry said in its report. This can be explained by the high level of Russia’s grain self-sufficiency. The average consumer prices of wheat flour bread of number 1 and number 2 grades in Russia have not changed over the past week and reach 35.9 roubles per kilogram.