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Brazil Soy Crop Forecast Cut to 116.9 Million Tonnes Amid Dry Spell

SAO PAULO, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Brazil’s 2018/19 soybean crop forecast was cut to 116.9 million tonnes on Wednesday from 121.4 million tonnes late in November, said consultancy AgRural, blaming extreme heat and a dry spell in southern areas for the smaller projection.

Last week, broker and analyst INTL FCStone had announced a similar reduction on its estimates for Brazil soy output. Brazil, the world’s largest exporter, is in the initial stages of the harvest.

AgRural said that weather conditions in recent weeks have basically erased chances of another soy production record in Brazil, which reported its largest output on record last year at 119.3 million tonnes. It sold a large part of that to China amid the trade dispute between China and the United States.

The consultancy projected yields to fall by 4% this year when compared with the previous crop, leading overall output to be smaller than last year even with an increase in planted area of 720,000 hectares.

AgRural said southern Paraná state was the hardest-hit by the heat and dry spell. It cut its projection for the state by 2.5 million tonnes. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira and José Roberto Gomes; editing by Diane Craft and Grant McCool)

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