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Mostly dry climate will boost corn and soybean harvest in Argentina: specialists

BUENOS AIRES, Mar 31 (Reuters) – Mostly dry conditions in the coming week in much of Argentina will favor the start of the 2020/21 corn and soybean harvest, after abundant rains in the second half of March that prevented more Yield losses, climate specialists said Wednesday.

Argentina is the main world exporter of soybean oil and flour, and the third of corn.

The Buenos Aires Cereal Exchange (BdeC) foresees a harvest of 44 million tons for the oilseed and 45 million tons for corn -from the 46.5 million and 47 million respectively estimated initially- due to a drought that affected the country since the second half of 2020.

In the next seven days, “most of the Argentine agricultural area and most of the Uruguayan agricultural area will see little to no rainfall (less than 10 millimeters), with some foci with moderate values,” said the BdeC in its weekly report of weather.

The forecast is good news for Argentine farmers who have already started or are about to start harvesting soybeans and corn. Rainfall hinders the movement of harvesting machines in the fields.

The rains in the second half of March came too late to improve yields in the plots that were still going through development periods, although they did prevent further losses.

“Since mid-March there should have been no further losses from the drought, with even some improvement in late-batch yields,” said Isaac Hankes, a US-based analyst at Refinitiv.

“The forecast indicates a return to dry conditions, which should be timely for the harvest and is in line with our long-term forecasts for April-May,” Hankes added.

(Reporting by Hugh Bronstein and Maximilian Heath; Edited by Jorge Otaola)

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