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Argentina corn planting slowest in six years due to drought, Rosario exchange says

By Maximilian Heath

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 14 (Reuters) - Argentina corn planting is progressing at its slowest pace in six years due to a protracted drought, the Rosario grains exchange (BCR) said on Friday, which will drag down the amount of early-planted corn that normally has a higher yield.

Argentina is the world's third largest corn exporter, but has been grappling with a major period of dry weather that has hit grains farmers hard in the South American nation, which is also a major producer of soy and wheat.

The Rosario exchange said that it expected early planted corn to only make up 10% of the total 2022/23 cycle in the core production areas. That would be the lowest level in a decade. Farmers are expected to plant 8 million hectares (19.8 million acres) of the grain.

"The 2022/23 campaign would have only 10% of early corn area in the core production area, leaving the rest as late corn," the BCR said in a report.

The exchange currently forecasts 2022/23 corn production of 56 million tonnes, up from a drought-hit 51 million tonnes a year earlier, though this season's number is likely to be revised down due to the current dry weather.

Late corn planted, that starts being sown at the end of the year, has lower yields than the plants planted at the beginning of the campaign, which starts in September.

Argentine farmers so far have planted 1.6 million hectares with corn, down from the 2.8 million tonnes planted in the same period a year ago, the exchange said.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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