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BUENOS AIRES: Rains over recent days brought relief to parched wheat fields in central Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, although some

damage to yields was expected to be irreversible after months of extraordinarily dry weather.

Argentine growers have planted 6.5 million hectares (16.1 million acres) with wheat, to be harvested in December and January, according to the exchange. Exchange analysts cut their original sowing estimate of 6.8 million hectares earlier this season due to the dryness.

"Soil moisture conditions as they pertain to wheat have improved in central and southern parts of the agricultural belt, thanks to the rains that fell over the preceding week," the exchange said in its weekly crop report.

"However, considering the growth limitations that the crop has suffered due to dryness so far this season, irreversible declines are expected on potential yields," it said.