CHICAGO (B)--The Argentine harvest is proceeding well for coarse grains, but slight delays have been experienced in some regions, according to a United States Department of Agriculture attache report released April 7. Additionally, some early frosts have stuck the corn and soybean production zones of Cordoba and La Pampa provinces, which may have a negative effect on corn yields in those areas. However, overall yield results have been better than expected for corn.

According to official figures, Argentina's corn harvest is about 35% complete. Countrywide, yields have been somewhat better than expected at around 5.5 metric tons per hectare. Some analysts think that a reduction in average yield is possible as the harvest moves southward into traditionally less productive areas of Buenos Aires province, which also runs greater risk damage from early frosts.

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about 17% of the corn areas has been harvested in the province of Cordoba. As this area is expected to have well-above-average yields because of very favorable early-season conditions, overall yields will be supported as the harvest moves more fully into that region.

As more complete figures become available for the 1998-99 local marketing year, corn exports are put at about 7.8 million metric tons. Export sales for the 1999-2000 local year already total almost 3.6 million metric tons, and new sales during the most recent week were relatively rapid at 32 7,000 metric tons. From the beginning of March, about 730,000 metric tons of corn have been shipped.

According to government estimates, about 279,000 hectares will be planted to dry beans in the current season. Of these, some 163,000 hectares will be black beans, about 101,000 hectares will be alubias and the remainder will be spread amongst other types. Because of heavy rainfall in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, the planting in that region has stalled, and the final area planted may be less than originally estimated.

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