Argentina sees wheat harvest of 12 million tonnes

Buenos Aires | Reuters –– Argentine farmers will harvest 12 million tonnes of wheat in the 2014-15 crop year, the agriculture ministry said in its monthly report Thursday, issuing its first wheat crop estimate of the season.

Argentina’s 2013-14 wheat harvest was 9.2 million tonnes, according to official data.

“Losses have been seen in parts of Buenos Aires and southeast Cordoba provinces due to excessive rain and hail storms,” the report said. “Southwest and southeast Buenos Aires and the southern part of La Pampa province are reporting generally good wheat-growing conditions.”

The South American grains powerhouse is also expected to plant 20.1 million hectares with soy this year, down from the government’s previous estimate of 20.3 million.

The ministry expects 5.56 million hectares to be planted with commercial-use corn this season.

The Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, also on Thursday, kept the following forecasts unchanged: 20.6 million hectares of 2014-15 soy; three million hectares of 2014-15 corn; and a wheat crop of 11.5 million tonnes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects Argentina to harvest 12 million tonnes of wheat this crop year versus 10.5 million in 2013-14. USDA forecasts an Argentine soy crop of 55 million tonnes versus 54 million in 2013-14 and 23 million tonnes of corn this season versus 25 million in 2013-14.

The Rosario grains exchange said last week it expects Argentine farmers to plant 20.7 million hectares with soy in the 2014-15 season. Rosario sees the 2014-15 commercial-use corn harvest at 21.5 million and wheat at 12 million tonnes.

— Reporting for Reuters by Maximiliano Rizzi and Maximilian Heath in Buenos Aires.

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