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Argentina says Brazil to buy 5.5 mln tonnes of its wheat in 2020

BUENOS AIRES, May 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian mills will buy at least 5.5 million tonnes of wheat from Argentina in 2020 and 2.25 million tonnes of the grain between June and November this year, the Argentine government said on Thursday after a meeting with counterparts in Brazil.

The announcement comes months after Brazil spooked Argentine farmers when it agreed to import 750,000 tons of wheat from the United States and other countries outside the regional Mercosur block, waiving the 10% levy normally applied.

Argentina is one of the world's leading suppliers of wheat and most of its shipments are destined for Brazil.

The deal follows a meeting between Argentine officials and the Brazilian Wheat Industry Association (Abitrigo) in Sao Paulo.

Abitrigo members estimated their purchases for the 6-month period from June-November this year and "for next year a minimum of 5.5 million tonnes" during the meeting, Argentina's agriculture secretariat said in a statement.

In the first quarter of 2019 Argentina exported 1.7 million tonnes of wheat to Brazil, official government data show. In 2018 Argentina exported 5.9 million tonnes of wheat to Brazil.

An Argentine grain exchange said earlier on Thursday that recent dry weather was propelling wheat planting for the 2019-20 season, which began last week. It estimated it would cover 6.4 million hectares. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Sandra Maler)