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Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani




Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani





Weather Uncertainties
22/10/04 - Weather conditions will be the key variable to watch in comingweeks and months. An improvement in rainfall is urgently required in allof Argentina and most of Brazil. Original planting intentions for wheatand sunflowers could not be accomplished in northern parts of Argentina,where the planting window has now closed.Some meteorologists indicate that prospects for rainfall have improved forthe next 1-2 weeks in Brazil, while others still indicate thatbelow-normal rainfall will continue to be experienced until at least Oct31. A so-called mini La Niña developed over the past six months and wasblamed for the dryness in most of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguayin the past five months.A moderate El Niño is likely to develop within the next 2-4 months,according to several meteorologists. 6 out of 11 internationalclimatological centres see the likelihood of such a scenario to developuntil March 2005. This is in contrast to the announcement of theAustralian Meteorological Bureau earlier this week, which pointed to thelikelihood that El Niño would weaken rather than strengthen. If an El Niñodevelops, it is expected to result in above-normal rainfall in Februaryand March 2005 in many areas of Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. This wouldcreate ideal conditions for the Asian rust fungus to continue to spreadwhich could become a major factor to watch. It will be very important thatfarmers will be better skilled so that they can detect the fungus at anearly stage and immediately begin spraying before it is too late.The El Niño has global impacts: Several parts of Australia have recentlysuffered from very dry conditions. Rainfall was below normal duringJuly/Oct in most of Australia and in the Republic of South Africa.In Indonesia, rainfall improved in September and was above normal in mostareas of Sumatra and Kalimantan, but still below normal in Java andSula-wesi. Average precipitation in September was 11% above normal. Palmoil production prospects in Indonesia and Malaysia for 2005 and 2006 willto a large extent depend on whether El Niño conditions will develop and,particularly, how severe the El Niño and the accompanying rainfall deficitwill be in South East Asia.