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Russian wheat prices stabilize after sharp rise, hot weather eyed

MOSCOW, June 10 (Reuters) - Russian export prices for the new wheat crop, due to arrive on the market in the summer, stabilized last week after a sharp rise the week before as weather-related concerns about the crop eased, analysts said on Monday.

Black Sea prices for the new Russian wheat crop with 12.5% protein content were $195 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, down $2 from a week earlier, Russian agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note.

SovEcon, another Moscow-based consultancy, also quoted FOB new crop for July delivery at $195 per tonne. Russia's harvesting campaign will start from the southern Krasnodar region this week if the weather allows, it added in a note.

Chicago wheat futures are down for a second straight session on Monday as weather conditions for U.S. grain plantings have improved. The futures rose last week as the lack of rain in Russia raised concerns about reduced yields in the world's top wheat exporter.

"The (Russian) market is not impressed with hot and dry weather in the Black Sea, some traders say that demand for Russian wheat remains sluggish compared to the previous year as many buyers still hope to see lower prices reflecting good crop," SovEcon said.

"The weather does not possess serious threat to winter wheat yields in the majority of regions, in our view," it added.

There were some rains in Ukraine and parts of Russia last week. However, the next two weeks are expected to remain dry and hot, so the market will keep following the weather updates closely, it added.

Russia exported 41.2 million tonnes of grain from the start of the current 2018/19 marketing season on July 1, 2018 to June 6, down 16% from a year earlier, according to SovEcon. That included 34.0 million tonnes of wheat.

Domestic prices for third-class wheat fell 50 roubles to 11,825 roubles ($183) a tonne at the end of last week in the European part of Russia on an ex-works basis, according to SovEcon. Ex-works supply does not include delivery costs.

By June 7, farmers had sown spring grains on 97% of the planned area, or 29 million hectares, compared with 27 million hectares a year ago, Russia's agriculture ministry said.

Sunflower seed prices rose 275 roubles to 18,925 roubles a tonne, SovEcon said. Domestic sunflower oil prices rose by 175 roubles to 42,750 roubles a tonne, while FOB export prices for sunflower oil fell $5 to $675 a tonne, SovEcon said.

IKAR said its white sugar price index for southern Russia was $406 a tonne on May 31, down $31.8 from a week earlier.

($1 = 64.7150 roubles) (Reporting by Polina Devitt and Olga Popova; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Mark Potter)