(Repeats item issued earlier, with no change to text) * Traders sold Russian wheat with 11.5% protein at $217-$222C&Fto Indonesia * Russian wheat quoted at around $236/T this week toIndonesia * Lack of Black Sea farmer selling prevented merchants fromcovering positions By Naveen Thukral SINGAPORE, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Wheat merchants who hadcommitted to sell to Asian millers are now facing hefty lossesafter an unexpected spike in Russian and Ukrainian grain pricesas farmers held on to their supplies, two trade sources toldReuters. Russian wheat with 11.5% protein was quoted around $236 pertonne, including cost and freight (C&F), this week to Indonesia,up from sales committed at between $217 and $222 a tonne in thelast few months for August shipment. "Farmers were really smart this year, they did not sell totrading companies in advance," said one the sources, who sellswheat at an international trading company. "When traders startedcovering shorts, prices started rising." The volume of wheat sold but not covered could be a bigchunk of total sales, both sources said. "It is hard to give the exact volume of shorts but it couldbe as high as half of the wheat sold by traders," the secondtrader said. The sources, from Singapore, spoke on condition ofanonymity, as they were not authorised to speak to media. Russian wheat export prices eased last week after threeweeks of gains, under pressure from the new crop harvest and aweakening rouble against the dollar, IKAR agricultureconsultancy said in a note on Monday. Black Sea-loaded Russian wheat with 12.5% protein was at$207 a tonne free on board for supply in August at the end oflast week, down $3 from the week before, IKAR said. But according to Sovecon, an agriculture consultancy inMoscow, supplies remain tight in some areas and "a few buyersneed grain urgently to load approaching vessels". Indonesia, the world's second-largest wheat importer, takesaround 900,000 tonnes a month, buying large volumes from theBlack Sea region. Thailand and the Philippines mainly use BlackSea wheat for animal feed. Global wheat prices are likely to ease towards the end ofthe year with expectations of a bumper harvest in Australia. "We have to wait and see, if Australian farmers also holdback supplies it could provide support to the market," the firstsource said. REUTERS
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