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Rains to help planting in Argentina grains belt: analysts

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Rains in Argentina's central Pampas grains belt will improve soil moisture and allow producers to advance with plantings of soybeans and corn, which had been delayed due to dry weather, agricultural analysts told Reuters on Tuesday.

[ BUENOS AIRES] Rains in Argentina's central Pampas grains belt will improve soil moisture and allow producers to advance with plantings of soybeans and corn, which had been delayed due to dry weather, agricultural analysts told Reuters on Tuesday.

While most of the country's main soy and corn areas received rain this weekend, they were strongest in Santa Fe province, with some areas receiving as much as 100 millimeters (3.94 inches), according to the Rosario grains exchange (BCR).

"We saw a reinforcement of moisture in the core zone, which is good for the crop," said Germán Heinzenknecht, a specialist with Applied Climatology Consultants.

While rains in Argentina's largest grains producing province of Buenos Aires were lighter at around 10 millimeters, that helped alleviate the effects of a week of high temperatures, said Marina Barletta, an analyst at the BCR.

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That is good news for the 2017/18 soy and corn crops, expected to reach 54.5 million tonnes and 41.5 million tonnes, respectively. Argentina is the world's No. 3 exporter of both products and is also the No. 1 exporter of soybean meal and soybean oil.

"There was fear that if the dryness continued, producers would not be able to finish planting," said Gonzalo Hermida, coordinator of the agricultural estimates department at the Buenos Aires grains exchange. "But it rained this weekend and there are forecasts for rain again this week."

REUTERS