World Bulletin / News Desk
Dry weather will return to the drought-stricken U.S. Midwest crop region, with corn and soybeans ending their growing season on a negative note after this week's rains provedto be too little too late, an agricultural meteorologist said Friday.
"There were some decent rains in central Illinois and west central Indiana yesterday, but it's too late for corn and too late for most of the bean crop," said Don Keeney, meteorologist for MDA EarthSat Weather.
The worst drought in more than 50 years through the heart of the summer growing season severely hurt the corn and soybean crops, slashing production and driving prices to record highs.
Rains now will help some of the later-maturing soybeans, mainly in the Northwest, but showers arrivedtoo late to revive any of the corn crop, Keeney said.
From 1.0 to 1.5 inches of rain fell in the central Midwest on Thursday, with up to 2.5 inches in westcentral Indiana.
There has not been enough rain to end the historic drought, and now it appeared there would be a return to drier weather.
"It looks like a dry weekend and dry next week, there could be some rain in the last week of August," he said.
Cooler temperatures, with highs in the 70s to 80s degrees Fahrenheit, were forecast for most of the Midwest crop region.
The oppressive heat and dryness kept a tight grip on top farm states over the past week. Although there were a few improvements, some areas experienced more serious degradation, according to a weekly report from climate experts released on Thursday.
Rain provided some relief to parched farmland stretching from Iowa through Ohio, but other areas including the Southern and Central Plains remained scorched.
"This week we saw a decline in drought in the lower 48 states for the third week in a row, but the overall decline was small," said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist for the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska.
"Last week drought covered 62.46 percent of the area, and this week 61.77 percent was in drought," he said.
Fuchs said the weekly Drought Monitor released on Thursday showed a one-in-50-year drought was under way in the United States, and no significant letup was in sight from the devastating impact oncrops and livestock.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) already has made deep cuts for this year's corn and soybean output as the drought spread through America's bread basket.
The agency said the 2012 corn crop would fall below 11.0 billion bushels for the first time in six years and the number of bushels yielded per acre was at a 17-year low. Soybean production was forecast at a five-year low and soy yield per acre at nearly a 10-year low.
Analysts and crop experts said additional cuts may be seen in future reports.
USDA will update its crop production data in early September.
Crude prices stabilised after diving more than two percent on Tuesday on increasing fears of a global supply glut, as continued production in the US and elsewhere offsets an OPEC output cut deal.
Move estimated to save company $1B in investment costs
However, most other regional markets struggled after Monday's healthy gains, despite being given a positive lead from Wall Street where the Dow and S&P 500 closed at fresh record highs.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated almost entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to cut the key rate to 9.00 percent per annum," the bank said in a statement. The cut follows a half-point decrease in late April.
Equity traders have suffered a fraught week as the crisis engulfing Donald Trump picks up pace, technology firms tumbled from recent highs and energy plays were hammered by plunging oil prices.
"In May 2017, passenger car registrations across the EU increased by 7.6 percent to 1.387 million units," ACEA said in a statement.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.4 percent to 12,746.05 points, and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.5 percent to 5,243.53 compared with the close on Thursday.
Eastern Mediterranean gas deposits discussed at high-level meeting in Thessaloniki
While a "rebalancing of the market" was "underway," it was "at a slower pace than originally anticipated," the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries wrote in its latest monthly oil market report.
US, with 30 planned LNG terminals and six under-construction, is forecast to be next leader in LNG markets