Weekly update - 6 July 2017

​​​​​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 5 July 2017 rainfall totals exceeding 25 millimetres were recorded in south-western Western Australia, southern parts of South Australia, the Victorian Alps, north-eastern New South Wales, south-eastern and north-eastern Queensland, and western Tasmania.
  • For the week ending 4 July 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average over much of the country, except in Queensland (2°C to 6°C above average) and central Western Australia (2°C to 4°C below average).
  • Rainfall for June 2017 was below average across much of northern and southern Australia. Nationally, it was the second-driest June on record, with rainfall 62 per cent below average.
  • Rainfall across southern Australia during June 2017 was well below average. This was largely the result of a series of stable high pressure systems blocking frontal systems that typically bring rain to southern Australia at this time of year.
  • Upper layer soil moisture for June 2017 was extremely low across much of Australia. The main exceptions were in isolated parts of central Western Australia and eastern New South Wales for which soil moisture was well above average.
  • The forecast for the next eight days indicates that rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are expected in central Queensland, alpine areas of Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, south-western Western Australia and western Tasmania. Rainfall is forecast to exceed 50 millimetres in central parts of the Northern Territory.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 6 July 2017 by 118 gigalitres (GL) to 15,658 GL and are at 69 per cent of total capacity. This is 29 percentage points or 6,497 GL more than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin steadily increased in the final weeks of the water year and closed at around $46 per megalitre. This likely reflected reports of dry conditions in water determination outlooks for Victorian and New South Wales valleys.
  • Allocation markets remain closed in South Australia and Victoria, however appear to be converging at around $100 per megalitre in both the NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee areas.
  • On 7 July the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the results of the 2016 Agricultural Census. The scope for the Census has changed compared with previous years. The minimum farm size, as determined by the value of agricultural operations, has been increased from $5,000 and over to $40,000 and over. This has reduced the number of operations surveyed compared with previous ABS rural environment and agricultural collections.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 5 July 2017 widespread rainfall was recorded across eastern and southern Australia. Rainfall totals exceeding 25 millimetres were recorded in south-western Western Australia, southern parts of South Australia, and the Victorian Alps. Similar totals were recorded in north-eastern New South Wales, southern and north-eastern Queensland, and western Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 168 millimetres at Topaz Alert, near Cairns in Queensland.

The rainfall analyses and associated maps utilise data contained in the Bureau of Meteorology climate database, the Australian Data Archive for Meteorology (ADAM). The analyses are initially produced automatically from real-time data with limited quality control. They are intended to provide a general overview of rainfall across Australia as quickly as possible after the observations are received.

For further information go to Weekly Rainfall Update

Rainfall - week ending 5 July 2017

Map showing weekly rainfall totals in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 5/07/2017

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 4 July 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average over much of the country, except in Queensland (2°C to 6°C above average) and central Western Australia (2°C to 4°C below average). Minimum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across most of Queensland and northern parts of the Northern Territory, and 2°C to 6°C below average in southern Western Australia, south-eastern New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania. For the remainder of Australia minimum temperatures were close to average.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 4 July 2017

Map showing maximum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 4/07/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 4 July 2017

Map showing minimum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.] 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 4/07/2017

Note: Spatial temperature analyses are based on historical weekly temperature data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. These temperature anomaly maps show the departure of the maximum and minimum temperatures from their long-term averages. Temperature anomalies are calculated using high-resolution gridded datasets from 1911 onwards. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Monthly rainfall

Rainfall for June 2017 was below average across northern and southern Australia. Nationally, it was the second-driest June on record, with rainfall 62 per cent below average. Parts of western and south-eastern Australia were particularly dry, with severe rainfall deficiencies present in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales and eastern Tasmania. The only areas to record significantly above average rainfall were isolated parts of central Western Australia, pastoral districts of South Australia, and north-eastern New South Wales.

In cropping regions, June rainfall was severely deficient in South Australia, Victoria, central and southern New South Wales, and most of Western Australia. It ranged from average to below average in northern New South Wales, Queensland and central parts of Western Australia. These rainfall deficiencies are likely to increase moisture stress for winter crops, particularly in areas where temperatures have been above average for this time of year.

Rainfall percentiles for June 2017

Map showing rainfall percentiles for June 2017. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Spatial rainfall percentile analyses are based on historical monthly rainfall data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. These rainfall percentile maps show how rainfall recorded during that given time period compared with the rainfall recorded for that same period during the entire historical record (1900 to present). Rainfall percentiles are a way of providing an indication of the spread of data in a data set. To calculate percentiles, the entire rainfall record at a certain point is divided into one hundred equal parts. The 5th percentile for June 2017 means that only five per cent of all Junes in the historical record have recorded a rainfall total that is at or below the rainfall recorded during June 2017. Dark blue areas on the maps are those areas that were wetter than the same time of year during the entire historical record, and dark red areas are drier. For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Rainfall across much of southern Australia during June 2017 was well below average. This was largely the result of a series of stable high pressure systems blocking frontal systems that typically bring rain to southern Australia at this time of year. This is illustrated by the mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) anomaly map, which shows higher than average MSLP over much of southern Australia for June.

Other climate influences contributing to below average rainfall across Australia include a southward shift of the sub-tropical ridge over Australia, and a positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM). When SAM is positive at this time of year, the global belt of high pressure in the mid latitudes of the southern hemisphere shifts southwards, pushing cold fronts and moisture to the south of Australia.

Mean Sea-Level Pressure (MSLP) anomaly – Australia, June 2017

Map showing anomalous mean sea level pressure, June 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology. Issued: 3/07/2017
Note: This map shows the departure of mean sea-level pressure for June compared to the average conditions
during that period between 1979–2000. Data are derived from the Bureau of Meteorology's ACCESS models.
For more information, go to Australian Climate Maps - Map information.

Recent soil moisture percentiles

The maps below show the levels of modelled upper layer soil moisture (0 to 10 centimetres) and lower layer soil moisture (10 centimetres to 1 metre) during June 2017. These maps show how modelled soil conditions during June 2017 compare with June conditions modelled over the 105 year reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps are those that were much wetter in June 2017 than during the same period over the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. These data are from the Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model (AWRA-L version 5.0), which was developed through the Water Information Research and Development Alliance (WIRADA) initiative. WIRADA is a collaborative project between the BoM and the CSIRO.

The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore the most appropriate indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating plants. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Relative upper layer soil moisture for June 2017 was extremely low across much of Australia. The main exceptions were in isolated parts of central Western Australia and eastern New South Wales for which soil moisture was well above average. In cropping regions upper layer soil moisture was predominantly extremely low in all states. The pattern of relative upper layer soil moisture reflects June 2017 rainfall.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for June 2017

Map showing relative upper layer soil moisture for June 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Relative lower layer soil moisture for June 2017 was well below average to extremely low across much of western and southern Western Australia, and southern parts of South Australia. Similar soil moisture levels were modelled for parts of eastern Victoria, central New South Wales, central Queensland and central parts of the Northern Territory. Lower layer soil moisture was well above average to extremely high in parts of central Western Australia, central South Australia, north-eastern Queensland and across the Top End.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for June 2017

Map showing relative lower layer soil moisture for June 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

The forecast for the next eight days indicates that rainfall is mainly expected across central Australia and parts of south-western and southern Australia. Totals between 10 and 100 millimetres are expected in central parts of the Northern Territory. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for central Queensland, alpine areas of Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and south-western Western Australia. Similar totals are expected in western Tasmania.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 6 to 13 July 2017

Map of the total forecast rainfall for the next 8 days. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 6/07/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 6 July 2017 by 118 gigalitres (GL) to 15,658 GL and are at 69 per cent of total capacity. This is 29 percentage points or 6,497 GL more than at the same time last year.

Water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2000 to 2017, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on irrigation water available in the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 6 July 2017 is shown above. The top horizontal (short dash) line indicates the storage level during a similar time last year. The bottom horizontal (long dash) line indicates the amount of ‘dead’ or unusable storage.

Water storages

Changes in regional water storages for June 2017 are summarised in the table and graph below (current at 06 July 2017).

Region

Total capacity

Current volume

Current volume

Monthly change

Monthly change

Annual change

 

(GL)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)

22,559

15,658

69

213

1

6,497

Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA)

9,352

6,086

62

163

2

2,721

Queensland MDB

186

163

88

-6

-3

63

Central Queensland

3,154

2,624

83

-65

-2

37

South-east Queensland

3,517

2,320

66

-38

-1

83

New South Wales MDB

13,884

9,453

68

318

2

4,034

Coastal New South Wales

1,074

933

87

-1

0

36

Victoria MDB

8,488

6,042

71

-98

-1

2,400

State water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin by state (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2002 to 2017, measured as gigalitres (total storage of 22,598 gigalitres.) 

Water allocations

Although inflows in the last six months have been relatively low across the Murray-Darling Basin, opening allocations have been influenced by relatively high storage volumes.

Carryover volumes in New South Wales and Victorian systems appear high, however some carryover will not be immediately available to irrigators. Particularly, Victorian systems are not likely to allow access to carryover in the near-term through a low-risk of spill announcement. South Australia did not grant carryover to irrigators in 2016–17.

Opening allocations for the 2017-18 water year

Opening allocations (2017–18)

Closing allocations (2016–17)

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray Valley

11%

97%

100%

100%

NSW Murrumbidgee Valley

17%

95%

100%

100%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong Valley

36%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Hunter Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan Valley

0%

100%

131%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

0%

100%

125%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir Valley

0.0%

100%

78.6%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a) / 8%(b)

100%

100%(a) / 113%(b)

100%

NSW Peel Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray Valley

0%

66%

5%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

36%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

0%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

36%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

0%

0%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

1%

100%

100%

South Australia

 

High security

 

High security

South Australia Murray Valley

 

100%

 

100%

*Carryover water may also be available
(a) General Security A class. (b) General Security B class

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin steadily increased in the final weeks of the water year and closed around $46 per megalitre. This likely reflected reports of dry conditions in water determination outlooks for Victorian and New South Wales valleys.

Allocation markets remain closed in Victoria and South Australia, with limited trade commencing in some New South Wales catchments.

The market appears to be converging at around $100 per megalitre in both the NSW Murray and Murrumbidgee areas, however there is insufficient trade to accurately report on opening prices.

Trade from the Murrumbidgee to the southern connected system remains closed.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin until 30/06/2017

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin. 

The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin. Data shown is current until Saturday 1 June, 2017.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Goulburn

South Australian Murray

Murrumbidgee

Victorian Murray

NSW Murray

Closing week (24/06/17 – 30/06/17)

$45.67

$46.74

$46.95

NA

$46.67

$17.65

June 2017

$32.24

$40.87

$38.40

$5.02

$41.27

$15.06

June 2016

$158.80

$196.40

$195.36

$35.83

$187.52

$188.79

Commodities

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Market focus

2016 Agricultural Census

On 7 July at 11.30am the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will be releasing data from the 2016 Agricultural Census.

The scope for the 2015–16 Agricultural Census is different to previous ABS rural environment and agricultural collections. The minimum farm size, as determined by the estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO), has been increased from $5,000 and over to $40,000 and over. This change has reduced the number of small agricultural operations surveyed.

As a result, estimates from the 2015–16 Agricultural Census will not be directly comparable to previous published Agricultural Censuses or annual survey outputs. The ABS has produced a set of estimates from a number of rural environment and agricultural commodity collections from 2010–11 to 2014–15 using the new EVAO of $40,000 and over.

Estimates for 2014–15 using this new scope at national state/territory and sub-state levels can be found here:

For more information please go to http://www.abs.gov.au/

The ABS are providing support to help users understand the impact of this change for them. Please contact ABS – Agricultural Client Services if you think they can be of assistance to you.

Current indicators – 6 July 2017

IndicatorWeek endedUnitLatest pricePrice week priorWeekly changePrice 12 months priorYear on year changeChart

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate05-JulUS$/A$0.770.761%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.753%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf04-JulUS$/t2452364%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18334%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf05-JulUS$/t1601544%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.164-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg04-JulUS$/t4094031%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3934%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index05-JulUSc/lb83.883.0<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.75.611%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract05-JulUSc/lb13.612.77%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20.6-34%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator29-JunAc/kg clean1,5071,533-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,29716%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator30-JunAc/kg clean1,5521,567-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,36214%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA04-JulA$/t2472374%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2441%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW05-JulA$/t2582551%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.261-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW05-JulA$/t2412362%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.21612%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.03-JulA$/t5055050%5001%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW05-JulA$/t2842840%24416%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator29-JunAc/kg cwt621633-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.641-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18-24 kg fat score 2-3), Vic30-JunAc/kg cwt482523-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.41416%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator29-JunAc/kg cwt625650-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.645-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1-75 kg), average of buyers & sellers23-JunAc/kg cwt285288-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.379-25%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1-16 kg)03-JulAc/kg cwt6826820%56321%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia20-MayAc/kg lwt3203200%28014%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East26-Jun$/head1069314%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.9314%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder04-JulUS$/t3,1113,0223%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,06251%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder04-JulUS$/t2,0902,218-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,9388%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese04-JulUS$/t4,0514,121-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,90240%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat04-JulUS$/t6,5966,885-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,62182%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Note: Price week prior for Wool – Western Market Indicator refers to 21 June and price 12 months prior refers to 28 June 2016. Price week prior for Live sheep Indicator refers to 19 June and price 12 months prior refers to 4 July 2016.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
06 Jul 2017