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Asia Environment Food & Drinks News

Asian Crops Threatened by El Nino

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An unusually dry August has taken a toll on cereal and oilseed crops in Asia as El Nino intensified. Forecasts for low rainfall in September are further threatening to disrupt supplies.

El Nino is a warming of Pacific waters that often results in dry conditions over Asia and excessive rains in North and South America.

Wheat output forecasts are being revised lower due to dry weather in Australia, the world’s second-largest exporter. Meanwhile, record-low monsoon rains are expected to reduce the volume of crops in India, including rice the world’s biggest shipper of the grain, analysts say. Moreover, insufficient rains in Southeast Asia could dent supplies of palm oil, the world’s most widely used vegetable oil.

“We are in full-blown El Nino weather in several parts of the world and it is going to intensify towards the end of the year,” Chris Hyde, a meteorologist at US-based Maxar Technologies, predicts.

“The weather pattern in Asia will correlate with dry El Nino conditions.”

India’s monsoon rains, crucial for summer crops such as rice, sugarcane, soybeans, and corn, are poised to be the weakest in eight years.

“This month will end with a deficit of over 30%, marking it as the driest August on record. El Nino will also affect September’s rainfall,” a senior India Meteorological Department official explains.

India, accounting for 40% of global rice exports, has already curbed shipments, lifting prices to 15-year highs.

Read the original article HERE.

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