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Australia weather bureau says summer La Nina has ended

[SYDNEY] Australia's weather bureau said on Tuesday a La Nina weather event that began in December has ended, and there are no clear indications that an El Nino or La Nina event will develop in coming months.

The La Nina brought near-perfect conditions for the country's graziers and sugarcane growers over the summer, while forecasts for wheat output have been revised higher.

La Nina events occur when sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific Ocean drop to lower-than-normal levels, leading to stormier, colder winters in Asia's northern hemisphere, and warmer, wet summers in the southern hemisphere.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology predicted in December that the La Nina cycle would be weak and shortlived, and on Tuesday reset its La Nina outlook to "inactive".

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Still, rains have covered swathes of the country since bringing floods in the northeast, giving some respite from drought for cattle ranchers and allowing them to rebuild herds which dwindled as pastureland died back.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture, Resource Economics and Rural Sciences lifted forecasts for both beef and wheat output, expecting the weather to boost yields, while the sugar industry along the Pacific east coast is also expected to boost output.

The more damaging El Nino weather event brings dry conditions to eastern Australia and parts of Asia, and above normal rains to South America.

"All atmospheric and oceanic indices are now at neutral levels ... there are no clear indications that an El Nino or La Nina event will develop in the coming months," the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said in a statement.