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Brazil's recent frosts seen as less damaging for wheat crop

SAO PAULO, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Frosts on the weekend were less intense and widespread than at the beginning of last month in Brazil's number 1 wheat producer Paraná state, signaling that August will probably see less damage to crops, the state's rural economy department Deral said on Monday.

"At first sight, the frost was less of a problem than the July 6 frost. It was not as cold," said Deral wheat specialist Carlos Hugo Godinho.

Frosts a month ago cut the Parana wheat harvest outlook by more than 15 percent, down to 2.7 million tonnes, according to Deral. Parana usually accounts for half of the wheat harvest in Brazil, a country that depends largely on imports of wheat. The losses in the state could increase imports, previously estimated at 7 million tonnes this year.

While the cold weather becomes less intense, Godinho said farmers are now more worried about the lack of rain, especially in northern Parana, where it has not rained for weeks in some areas.

According to Refinitiv data, most of the state will not see significant rain until at least Aug. 20.

Brazil buys most of its wheat imports from Argentina, but the United States is also a regular supplier. (Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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