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UPDATE 2-Argentina's corn crop seen growing 6%, wheat area flat

(Adds wheat forecast)

BUENOS AIRES, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Argentina's corn harvest for the current 2021/2022 season is estimated to reach 52 million tonnes, according to data released by the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange on Thursday, up about 6% from last week's 49 million tonne forecast.

Dry weather last week favored the corn crop, the exchange said, while it also raised its calculation of the corn-planted area for the 2021/2022 season to 7.7 million hectares, from 7.3 million previously.

Argentina is a major global exporter of grains, including wheat and corn.

"The drop in grain moisture boosted the harvest in provinces like Chaco and Salta," the exchange said, adding that nearly all of the "suitable area" in the country, or 97.9%, had already been harvested.

For the upcoming 2022/2023 corn season, in which planting will begin in the coming weeks, the exchange forecasts an area of 7.5 million hectares. That would be smaller than the current season, due to a drop in the profitability of the crop and low soil moisture.

The exchange maintained its forecast for land planted with wheat for the 2022/2023 cycle at 6.1 million hectares.

"As of this report, 70.6% of the standing area has adequate/optimal water conditions, concentrated mostly in the south of the agricultural area," the exchange added. It warned on possible losses in the north of the country due to dry conditions. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Editing by David Alire Garcia, Richard Chang and Richard Pullin)

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