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Rains seen returning to drought-hit Brazil soy fields

SAO PAULO, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Rainfall in the second half of December will bring some relief to drought-stricken soy fields in Brazil's state of Paraná, the country's second largest producer, according to Refinitiv Eikon's Agriculture Weather Dashboard data.

All of Paraná will have rains above average through the end of the month after several days of dryness, the data showed.

Deral, Paraná's agricultural research body, said losses will certainly occur because of the long dry spell, though these cannot be quantified at this point.

"If it rains in the next few days, part of the fields may recover, especially the soybeans in the filling stage," the agency said.

Losses are more likely in soy areas planted early, Deral said. Despite problems in Brazil's second-biggest soy state, the2018-19 soybean crop is expected to reach 120.066 million tonnes, a record, since other areas such as the center-west are doing well.

The Agriculture Weather Dashboard showed it rained 50 millimeters less than normal in the state of Paraná over the past 15 days.

Marcelo Garrido, an official at Deral, told Reuters on Friday problems with the crop "are likely" though he declined to elaborate if the return of rainfall will enable some fields to recover.

The official said Paraná soy growers will be unable to break productivity records this year due to the dryness.

The west of the state, which is the main grain area and was the most affected by the drought, is expected to receive rainfall of 103.2 millimeters above average in the second half of December, Dashboard data showed. (Reporting by Ana Mano; editing by Grant McCool)

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