5 Feb 2010 14:54

Russia sells almost third of intervention-fund corn in first week

MOSCOW. Feb 5 (Interfax) - In the first week of trading that started on February 1, Russia sold almost one third of the corn held in the intervention fund.

A MICEX press release says that 22,680 tonnes of corn was sold for 112.7 million rubles on Friday. That brings the total for the week's three trading days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) to 55,500 tonnes of corn for 274.8 million rubles. The fund still holds 99,500 tonnes.

The average weighted price in the corn deals was 4,949.5 rubles/tonne, the lowest price 4,400 rubles and the highest 5,550 rubles. Trading began at the 4,200 rubles/tonne mark set by the Agriculture Ministry.

The government is selling class-3 corn purchased for the intervention fund from August 19, 2008 to May 21, 2009. United Grain Company is the government's purchasing agent.

Russia has been commodity and purchase grain interventions to stabilize the market since 2001. When prices start falling sharply, the government buys grain for the intervention fund to stabilize prices. When grain prices rise sharply, the government sells off intervention fund grain to blunt the sharp price increase.