0708brazilcropsfrozedrought.cfm Droughts, frosts slash Brazil harvest
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Droughts, frosts slash Brazil harvest

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP)--Brazil's government is warning that dry weather and frosts will likely slash the nation's grain harvest by 7.2 percent this year.

The Agriculture Ministry expects 134 million metric tons (148 million U.S. tons) of grain and soy to be harvested in the 2008-2009 planting season, from nearly 144 million metric tons (159 million U.S. tons) the season before.

The ministry on July 7 blamed the decline on frosts in the southern states of Parana and Mato Grosso do Sul in June, and on droughts in the southern and midwestern region in April and May.

Brazil is the world's second largest soy producer after the U.S., and analysts warned the crop losses could temporarily boost world soy prices.

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