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Frosts affect agricultural areas of Brazil and Paraguay

By Roberto Samora

SAO PAULO, Jun 29 (.) – Frosts hit agricultural regions of Brazilian states such as Paraná and Mato Grosso do Sul on Tuesday, which may anticipate further losses for corn crops and a paralysis of the domestic market for the grain, a key ingredient of livestock feed.

In a note to clients, meteorological consultancy Rural Clima said the cold weather would continue on Wednesday.

In neighboring Paraguay, which has been exporting corn to Brazil to make up for scarce local supplies, the frosts were “harsh,” said meteorologist Marco Antonio dos Santos.

However, the rains in some areas reduced the damage, especially in the north of Paraná.

Paulo Molinari, an analyst at Safras & Mercado, forecast more losses for Brazil’s second corn crop after the cold front. The region that includes Paraná, Mato Grosso do Sul and also Paraguay is facing another frosty Wednesday, he said.

Molinari said it was too early to know the magnitude of the losses.

“I can’t say yet, as it just happened,” Molinari told .. “Some fields, depending on the severity of the frosts tonight, face the possibility of losing 100%.”

Bad weather has also paralyzed Brazil’s domestic corn market, with no farmer sales due to production uncertainty, Molinari said.

“Everyone is panicking about the frost issue,” Molinari said, adding that buyers and sellers are on the lookout.

After a drought affected important corn areas in Brazil this year, Safras & Mercado put the country’s second corn production at 61.6 million tons, 22.4 million less than its initial projection.

Paraná, the second corn-producing state in Brazil after Mato Grosso, was one of the most affected.

The second-rate corn crop in Paraná, which is planted after soybeans, was estimated at 9.8 million tons by a regional forecaster, some 5 million tons less than initially thought due to the drought.

(Report by Roberto Samora; Edited in Spanish by Javier López de Lérida)

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