Argentina's economic activity down 4.4% in June as agriculture plunges

Fields of wheat are seen on farmland near Azul

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina's economic activity fell 4.4% in June from a year earlier, the country's official statistics agency said on Wednesday, below the expectations of a Refinitiv poll of a 4.0% drop.

The country's economy has been severely hit by poor performance in the agricultural sector, which registered a 40.4% drop year-on-year according to INDEC data .

The South American nation is one of the world's largest exporters of grains, but crops suffered what has been called the worst drought in 60 years over recent months.

"The impact of the poor performance of the agricultural sector is especially strong," said economist and director of Invenomica Pablo Besmedrisnik consulting firm.

Analysts however suggested the country might see some improvement in the second half of the year, as the agriculture space begins to recover from the prolonged drought amid rains.

"As agriculture improves its figures, the general drop rate will moderate," consulting firm Orlando Ferreres & Asociados said in a report.

(Reporting by Hernan Nessi; Writing by Carolina Pulice; Editing by Isabel Woodford)