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Argentine Pres. sees better crop output

03/02/2012 @ 7:45am

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said Thursday the country is on track to produce about 22 million metric tons of corn and 48 million of soybean during the 2011-12 season, based on government surveys of the farm belt.

"We have deployed 400 technicians in the farm belt and the reports they have sent to us are very good," she said in a televised address to Congress.

Kirchner's forecasts are slightly higher than the latest estimates published by the Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange and the Rosario Grain Exchange.

Argentina is the world's third-largest soybean exporter and ranks No.2 in corn exports.

Exports of grains, soybeans and related products are a significant source of government tax revenue and a major contributor to Argentina's trade surplus, which totaled $10.35 billion last year.

The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange said in its weekly crop report Thursday that rains in recent weeks have helped the soy crop to recover from drought conditions in December and January that damaged corn fields.

The exchange left unchanged its 2011-12 forecast for the soy harvest at 46.2 million metric tons, and 21.3 million for the corn crop.

The exchange said rain storms are expected to soak a large swath of the farm belt starting Monday.

Estimates for Argentina's 2011-12 crop production in million of metric tons. Sunseed area is measured in million hectares (HA). One hectare equals 2.47 acres.

Wheat      Soy         Corn         Sunseed 
B.A. Cereals Exch    14.0       46.2        21.3         3.5 
Ag Ministry          13.4       43.5-45.0   20.5-22.0    3.7 
USDA                 14.5       48.0        22.0         3.2 
Rosario Grain Exch   13.7       44.5        19.8         --

Argentina's historical production in millions of metric tons, according to the USDA:

Wheat      Soy         Corn         Sunseed 
2010-11              15.0       49          22.5         3.6 
2009-10              9.6        54.5        22.5         2.3 
2008-09              10.1       32.0        15.0         2.9 
2007-08              18.6       46.2        22.0         4.65 
2006-07              16.3       48.8        22.5         --

-By Ken Parks, Dow Jones Newswires; 54-11-4103-6740; ken.parks@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 01, 2012 18:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

DJ Argentinas President Sees 2011-12 Soy Harvest At 48M Metric Tons->copyright

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