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Argentina weekly soybean sales slow -ministry

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Argentine grains producers have sold 69.99% of the 44 million tonne 2021/22 soybean harvest so far, the country's agriculture ministry said on Tuesday, more than a year earlier even as weekly sales plummeted after a preferential exchange rate for exporters ended.

A year earlier, producers had sold 68.4% of the harvest.

Between Oct. 6 and 12, however, producers sold just 55,000 tonnes of soybean, well below a weekly average of around 1.1 million tonnes in September, when a preferential exchange rate mechanism for soy exporters remained in effect.

Producers also sold 68.9% of the 2021/22 corn crop, surpassing the 64.8% recorded at this time last harvest.

Corn planting for the 2022/23 cycle has already started in Argentina, but the Rosario grains exchange has said the sown area is the lowest in six years, as a consequence of harsh droughts and frosts.

Separately, about 5.37 million tonnes of 2022/23 wheat harvest have been sold so far, or 33.5% of the expected 16 million tonne-harvest. (Reporting by Belen Liotti; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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