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South American soy output, area to hit record high - Datagro

SAO PAULO, Sept 23 (Reuters) - South American soybean production will hit a record high in the season that is now being planted, agribusiness consultancy Datagro said on Friday, citing an expected area expansion to an all-time high.

South American farmers will reap an estimated 219.34 million tonnes in the 2022/2023 season from a planted area of 66.09 million hectares (163.3 million acres), according to Datagro's first estimate for the new crop.

If confirmed, South American soybean production would grow by 21% from the 181.95 million tonnes estimated for the 2021/2022 harvest, when a drought spoiled parts of the crop in top producer Brazil.

Brazil, which began planting its 2022/2023 crop in recent days, will contribute about 70% of South America's entire output, or just below 152 million tonnes, Datagro said.

“For average yields, the initial projection considers a relative normality of the climate," Datagro analyst Flavio Junior said in the consultancy's statement.

He, however, highlighted risks associated with the La Niña weather phenomenon.

The 2022/2023 area for South American soybean plantings would be a 3% rise from the previous season, and also the sixth consecutive increase in acreage, according to Datagro. (Reporting by Ana Mano Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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