Rains in Argentina grains belt provide relief to parched soy, corn

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Rains in Argentina’s central
Pampas farm belt on Friday provided relief to the parched soy
and corn crops after weeks of drought prompted reduction in
harvest estimates, said Eduardo Sierra, a climate expert at the
Buenos Aires grains exchange.

“The rains are modest, but they arrived just in time to
limit the damage,” Sierra said by phone, adding that the rains
had hit Cordoba province, southern Santa Fe province, and
northern Buenos Aires province – the core growing areas of the
world’s No. 3 exporter of corn and raw soybeans.

Dry weather had previously prompted the exchange to slash
its estimates for the 2017/18 soy and corn crops to 50 million
tonnes and 39 million tonnes, respectively. The drought prompted
spikes in grains futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade,
where soybean futures hit two-week highs on Thursday.

While climate experts say more rains are expected beginning
mid-February, some believe those rains will not be enough to
reverse the damage of the drought.

Argentina is the world’s No. 1 exporter of soybean oil and
soy meal.

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