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La Nina crop impacts unclear

09/14/2011 @ 11:32am

It's still too early to ascertain the full impact on commodity markets of a possible return to the extreme weather patterns seen last year, Dr. William C. Patzert, Climatologist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, said Wednesday.

Sentiment towards commodities lying in the traditional path of conditions known as 'La Nina' (a periodic climatic phenomenon that brings more rain to the western Pacific, and to a lesser extent, the eastern Pacific) has started to turn more bullish over recent weeks.

The situation has also been exacerbated by supply shortages in a number of products, such as iron ore and agricultural commodities.

The U.S. National Weather Science's Climate Prediction Center confirmed last week that La Nina conditions have in fact returned and are expected to gradually strengthen and continue into the Northern Hemisphere winter.

"During September-November 2011, there is evidence that La Nina favors an increased chance of above-average temperatures across the mid-section of the country, and an increased chance of above-average precipitation across the Pacific Northwest," the weather body said in a statement.

Climatologists blamed La Nina for last year's floods that gripped Australia, resulting in major losses to coal and iron ore stockpiles but also for drought that ravaged the U.S. corn crop.

-By Neena Rai, Dow Jones Newswires; 4420-7842-9450; neena.rai@dowjones.com.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 14, 2011 12:15 ET (16:15 GMT)
DJ NASA: Too Early To Ascertain Commodity Impact Of La Nina Return->copyright

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