COMMODITY BRIEFS

COMMODITY BRIEFS

US '92 WEATHER, CROPS

SEEN SIMILAR TO '91Weather patterns and crop production in the United States this year should be similar to last year, although cool and wet conditions in the western corn belt this spring could delay plantings, said Art Douglas, director of atmospheric sciences at Creighton University.

The warming water conditions in the equatorial Pacific, popularly referred to as an "El Nino," is continuing to strengthen, and the current El Nino is shaping up as one of the strongest in the past 100 years, Mr. Douglas said here at the National Cattlemen's Association annual convention.

The heavy rains seen in Texas are a good indication that this is a strong El Nino, and that area is expected to continue to see heavy precipitation while the Pacific Northwest remains very dry and warm until May, Mr. Douglas said.

TWO GOLD COMPANIES

TO COOPERATE IN NEV.

TORONTO - American Barrick Resources and Newmont Gold Co. agreed to cooperate in developing their properties in the northern sector of the Carlin Trend gold deposit in Nevada.

The agreement replaces last year's abortive plan for a merger between the two companies.

The pact includes development of the Deep and Lower Post ore body, exploration and development along common boundaries of the property and sharing of Newmont's "bio- leach" technology.

The post body straddles the border between the two companies' properties and contains an estimated 9 million ounces of gold. Mining of most of the ore is expected to start in 1997.

JAPAN BOOSTS OUTPUT

OF ALUMINUM PRODUCTS

TOKYO - Japanese production of rolled aluminum products increased an annual 3.6 percent in 1991 to 2.34 million metric tons, extending an unbroken streak of gains to 10 years, the Japan Aluminum Federation announced Wednesday.

The federation attributed the increase to strong demand from the electrical appliance and automobile industries.