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Argentina’s corn, soy may see rain next week after historic drought

Argentina’s corn and soybeans may receive desperately needed showers next week, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, which could be the start of a slow return of rains after a historic drought that has wreaked havoc on crops.

Rainfall could total 10 millimeters to 75 millimeters (0.4-3 inches), with some areas seeing up to 100 millimeters, according to a report from the exchange.

Argentina’s agricultural producers have been hit by the severe drought, and this season’s soybean harvest is estimated to top out at 27 million tonnes, the lowest in nearly a quarter of a century.

The rains are forecast for Monday and Tuesday, meteorologist German Heinzenknecht said.

The rains could mark the beginning of a return to normal following the drought that has been going on for nearly a year due to the La Nina weather phenomenon, Heinzenknecht said.

“With the change of seasons at the end of March, and through April, we’ll see more frequent rainfall,” Heinzenknecht said.

The La Nina climate pattern is expected to turn to a “neutral” position in the jet stream along the Equatorial Pacific, bringing back some rains, Heinzenknecht said.

“What are the conditions going to be by the time wheat and barley planting begins at the end of May? Surely much better, but still not ideal,” Heinzenknecht said.

Next week “cold and dry polar winds” are expected to hit the country as well, according to the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange, after a record heatwave rolled across the country in the first half of the month.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Kylie Madry Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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