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U.S. drought good news for Australia

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 - 01:20

July 29 - One country's set back is another's boon when it comes to commodity exports. Julie Noce reports.

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This summer's drought in the Midwestern U.S. could be a blessing in disguise for farmers on the other side of the planet. America's dry spell could mean higher export prices for the first time in years for farmers in Australia. Unfortunately, analysts say this year's yield in Australia is smaller than expected after wheat prices sank earlier on expectations of an ample global harvest. Fiona Simson of the New South Wales Farmers Federation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW SOUTH WALES FARMERS FEDERATION, FIONA SIMSON, SAYING: " It was felt that the prices were very poor, and that was what we would have to put up, and nobody could see the upside at that point. But it just shows how quickly conditions change..." Still Australian farmers say they are cautiously optimistic for a favourable season. Meteorologists say dry weather could be in the forecast brought on by El Nino conditions. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DR AARON COUTTS-SMITH, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF METEOROLOGY SAYING: "It's not like flicking a switch. So we do start to see the effects of warmer sea surface temperatures in the Pacific which are indicative of El Nino conditions starting to affect our rainfall." Strong global prices and a good growing season will be a boon for the country at a time when prices of other key commodities like coal and iron ore are tumbling. Julie Noce, Reuters

U.S. drought good news for Australia

Sunday, Jul 29, 2012 - 01:20

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