Argentina ups 2013-14 wheat crop to 9 mln tonnes

BUENOS AIRES, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Argentina’s 2013-14 wheat crop should come in at nine million tonnes, up from a previous forecast of 8.5 million tonnes, the agriculture ministry said on Thursday in its monthly crop report.

The Argentine government also raised its forecast for the area destined for wheat crop planting by 31,000 hectares to 3.65 million hectares.

“(The area) has been increased from the last report, due to data we’ve processed from field workers,” the report said.

The improved forecast comes as Argentine exporters are awaiting the government’s green light to ship 1.6 million tonnes of 2013-14 wheat that has already been sold.

International markets are anxiously waiting for word of when grains powerhouse Argentina will start exporting wheat. Argentina’s international sales are regulated to ensure domestic food supply.

Argentina’s government also increased its 2013-14 soybean area forecast to a record 20.8 million hectares from a previous view of 20.7 million hectares.

The projection for Argentina’s 2013-14 corn area was unchanged at 5.7 million hectares.

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