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Argentine soy crop forecast could fall if no rain soon

BUENOS AIRES, March 4 (Reuters) - The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday that it could cut its harvest forecast for Argentina’s 2020/21 soy crop, currently 46 million tonnes, if it does not rain sufficiently in key producing areas over the weeks ahead.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soymeal livestock feed and soyoil. Dryness that had afflicted the Pampas grains belt since mid-2020 was relieved by substantial rainfall early this year, but some parts of the soy belt are still dry.

“The interruption of rainfall, together with the high temperatures of the last seven days, aggravate the state of the crop over much of the center and south of the planting area,” the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

Regarding 2020/21 corn, whose production estimate is also 46 million tonnes, the exchange said the lack of rain in eastern Argentina also threatens yields.

Argentine corn starts getting planted in September, with harvesting through July. The soy season is from October to May.

Argentina is the world’s No. 3 corn exporter.

(Reporting by Maximilian Heath. Writing by Hugh Bronstein. Editing by David Evans.)

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