Drought-hit Argentine wheat may get relief from weekend rains - exchange

BUENOS AIRES, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Drought-hit Argentine wheat fields might get some relief over the weekend if rain forecasts prove correct, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said in its weekly crop report on Thursday.

Some 60% of planted area was in average to very dry condition, the report said, up from 50% a week earlier.

"Expected wheat production continues to fall in the northeastern and northwestern parts of the grains belt while estimates could improve in central and southern growing areas if rain forecasts materialize over the weekend," the report said.

The wheat harvest, set to start in December, is expected at 17.5 million tonnes, the exchange said in a separate report on Wednesday, down from 21 million tonnes estimated in May as farms suffer from dryness.

Argentina's wheat crop was 18.8 million tonnes last season, according to exchange data.

Farmers have so far planted 11% of the 6.3 million hectares expected to be sown with 2020/21 corn, the weekly report said.

Argentine growers are expected to harvest 47 million tonnes of 2020/21 corn, down from 50 million tonnes in the 2019/20 season. Corn sowing in Argentina started in early September. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath and Hugh Bronstein Editing by Alistair Bell)

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