World wheat prices tumble

World wheat prices fell sharply yesterday after the Russian government announced the end of its ban on exports, imposed last year after a disastrous harvest.

Prices fell by around 5 per cent as investors reacted to the news, and a prediction from the Russian authorities that the grain harvest this year will be "quite good".

The ban will be lifted on 1 July, after almost a year. Some 10 per cent more wheat has been sowed this year _compared to 2010, and cold weather damage to seedlings ha s been comparatively modest.

"The condition of the winter crop is satisfactory and we believe that this year the grain harvest will be quite good," the Russian deputy Prime Minister, Viktor Zubkov, said. But traders urged caution, as the weather could yet turn adverse, especially in Germany, Europe's second producer after France.

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