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ARGENTINA HARVEST SLOW

Argentina’s soybean harvest has been crawling along amid delays caused by heavy rains and was only 25.5% complete as of Wednesday, 22.8% below the five-year average, although only 3 points behind last year’s pace, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday. Corn harvest has also moved slowly, reaching only 19.8% complete as of Wednesday. Corn crop ratings have continued to decline, with the exchange rating conditions 17% good/excellent and 40% poor as of Wednesday, but that was still above the year-earlier rating of just 5% good/excellent and 52% poor/very poor.

The exchange said it was considering lowering its estimate of Argentina’s 2023/24 soybean production due to “below-average” yields in northern growing areas that experienced hot, dry weather throughout growing season. “If this trend continues, it could see our production projection affected,” the exchange said in its weekly crop bulletin. However, it also noted that yields were running above the five-year average in Argentina’s core crop region. The exchange currently estimates soybean production at 51 million metric tons (MMT), down from a January estimate of 52.5 MMT, but still 1 MMT above USDA’s estimate and more than double last year’s drought-ravaged crop.

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