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BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's 2021/22 soy harvest is expected at 49 million tonnes, the Rosario grains exchange said in its monthly report on Thursday, after a drought on the Pampas farm belt reduced the previous season's crop to 45 million tonnes.

It said the soy planting area in Argentina was expected to fall for a sixth straight season to make room for expanding corn cultivation. The South American grains powerhouse is the world's No. 3 corn supplier and top exporter of soymeal livestock feed used to fatten hogs from Europe to Southeast Asia.

In the 2021/22 season, the exchange said Argentine growers were expected to sow 16.4 million hectares with soybeans, 3% less than in the previous crop year, which had been blighted by dry weather.

Argentine corn is also enjoying higher profit margins than soy, the exchange said to explain the shift in planting priorities. The exchange said its 2021/22 corn crop forecast was raised to 55 million tonnes from 54 million. Corn sowing is expected to expand 6% to 6.83 million hectares in the 2021/22 crop year versus 2020/21. Argentine corn starts getting sown in September, soy in October. The exchange said in the report it cut its 2021/22 wheat harvest forecast by 400,000 tonnes to 20.1 million tonnes.

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