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Argentina rains bring 'water bomb' to NW Buenos Aires, drier in the south - exchange

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Argentine rains in recent weeks have brought a "water bomb" to key farming areas in the northwest of Buenos Aires province, though there has been less water further to the south, the important Rosario grains exchange said in a report.

The South American country had been suffering a prolonged drought since December which has hit soybeans and corn, but rains in recent weeks have limited crop losses in the world's largest exporter of processed soy and the no. 2 for corn.

"The first important rains of 2022 left a water bomb of more than 200 mm (millimeters) in the NW of Buenos Aires," the exchange said in a report on Sunday, adding some regions had received an "entire summer" of rain in just five days.

The picture was mixed, however, with torrential rains in some areas, while other parts of the country's farming regions received relatively little.

"The southern part of Buenos Aires received less than 25 mm between January 19 and 24. In Santa Fe and Cordoba relief has arrived for crops, but it is not enough," the exchange added, adding some local areas still faced a lack of water.

The arrival of the rains has overall improved the harvest outlook in Argentina, which relies heavily on grains exports to bring in much-needed dollars as it battles to revamp some $40 billion in debts to the International Monetary Fund.

"As of January 15, the change in atmospheric dynamics made it possible for rains to develop and began to turn the page on the drought and the heat wave that raged in the Pampas region since mid-December," the Rosario exchange said.

Some more rains are expected in coming days, it added.

"A new instability promises to continue adding millimeters in the next two days due to the entry of a cold front between Tuesday and Wednesday," it said, adding moderate rains were expe.cted in the central regions with more over the northwest. (Reporting by Adam Jourdan Editing by Alistair Bell)

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