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UPDATE 1-Argentine grains exchange boosts estimate for 2018/19 soy harvest to 56 mln tonnes

56 mln tonnes@ (Adds quote)

BUENOS AIRES, May 16 (Reuters) - Argentine farmers are expected to harvest 56 million tonnes of soy for the 2018/19 season, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, an uptick from its previous estimate of 55 million tonnes.

The grains exchange cited stronger-than-expected crop yields as the reason for the boosted estimate, saying 76.7% of the planting area was already yielding crops.

"The current projection would have been even higher if not for the significant loss of area due to flooding in Chaco, Santiago del Estero and the north of Santa Fe," the grains exchange said, referring to three of the country's farming provinces. (Reporting by Eliana Raszewski; writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Jonathan Oatis)