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NDTO News Article

Global Weather & Economic Opportunities

Forecasting the weather in 2018 and the resulting economic opportunities will be a topic at the upcoming Global Business Connections conference in Fargo on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5. There meteorologist and interim director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network, Daryl Ritchison, will lead a break-out session on weather and global markets.

If 2017 is any indication, the economic impact due to weather can be huge. Last year was the costliest year on record for weather damage according to the United Nation’s digital humanitarian information source, ReliefWeb. Their annual report for 2017 on Weather, Climate and Catastrophe Insight was released in late January. According to the report, there were 330 disastrous weather events in 2017 that cost the world economy $353 billion. These losses amounted to a 93% increase over the average from 2000-2016.

Droughts, hurricanes, flooding and other severe weather affected regions not only in the U.S., but Europe and China as well. Europeans suffered about $2.5 billion in damage from windstorms last year and approximately $6.6 billion in agricultural damage due to an extended drought. A late winter storm in April caused $3.1 million of additional damage to European farms. China contended with the flooding of the Yangtze River, which cost them about $7.5 billion and a drought that cost $2.5 billion.

Extreme weather occurrences can cause poor crop yields and may indicate markets in need of additional commodity imports. On the flip side, ideal weather may indicate good crop yields and markets more open to imported machinery or storage facilities.

Join us at the Global Business Connections Conference breakout session, Weather and Economic Opportunities, as we explore global weather patterns and how they may affect your company’s export sales.

For more information and to register for the Global Business Connections Conference 2018, please visit