Wed Mar 26, 2014 08:36 AM CDT

(Dow Jones) -- Meteorologists from Australia say the chances are increasing that the volatile El Nino weather pattern will return this year, adding to already difficult growing conditions globally that have sparked a rally in agricultural commodities from coffee to palm oil.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology said Wednesday that it forecasts drier-than-normal weather for parts of the north and east of the country, and wetter-than-normal weather for the southwest, potentially causing problems for the production of crops such as sugar cane and cotton.

El Nino is the abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean that causes droughts in some areas and ...

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