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Argentine wheat crop eyes September rains with hope, grains exchange says

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Argentina's wheat harvest in the current 2022/2023 season would benefit from rains expected in a large swath of its planted area in the first half of September during key growth stages, Buenos Aires grains exchange said on Thursday.

After months of little to no rainfall, more moisture would boost the crop's recovery, the exchange said in a report, adding that rainfall over the last week had helped stabilize planted fields in the country's core breadbasket.

"For the first half of September, moderate to scarce rain events are expected over the center and south of the agricultural area that could favor the recovery of the crop," according to the report.

Argentina is a major wheat exporter, as well as a top soybean and corn producer, although the current cycle's expected wheat crop has shrunk.

Farmers planted 6.1 million hectares (15 million acres) with wheat, down from 6.7 million in the previous season, which yielded 22.4 million tonnes of the grain.

In northern Argentina, however, "the uninterrupted lack of rainfall is compounded by rising temperatures, interrupted by frost events, which have given 66% of the area a Fair/Bad crop condition," the exchange said.

The next few weeks are key for the development for the South American country's wheat crop, with harvest set to begin in November. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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