La Niña Floods and Droughts
La Niña conditions have recently brought unusual weather conditions to much of the world. In the Southern Hemisphere, large areas of Australia have been hit by torrential rain. In the semi-arid outback of central and southwestern Queensland, the intermittent Warrego River and a number of ephemeral streams have turned into torrents, flooding several towns and inundating extensive areas of pasture. Cattle producers, who rely mostly on natural forage, are pleased, but cotton farmers fear that they will lose their crops.
In Paraguay and northern Argentina, meanwhile, drought conditions are threatening corn and soybean production, and have reduced the flow of the mighty Paraguay River to its lowest flow in twenty years. On February 2, however, meteorologists finally saw substantial rains on the horizon. Agricultural commodity traders are closely following such weather news.
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