Weekly update - 8 June 2017

​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 7 June 2017 little to no rainfall was recorded across most of mainland Australia with the exception of coastal parts of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and western Tasmania, where weekly rainfall totals exceeded 25 millimetres.
  • During the week ending 6 June 2017 maximum temperatures were close to average across much of the country with the exception of above average temperatures in Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were below average to average for most of central, southern and eastern Australia due to a slow moving high pressure system.
  • Relative lower layer soil moisture for May 2017 was close to average across much of Australia. The main exceptions were extremely high soil moisture across parts of north-eastern Australia and extremely low soil moisture in western parts of Western Australia.
  • The forecast for the next eight days indicates that little to no rainfall is expected across most of mainland Australia, with the exception of coastal New South Wales and the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
  • While there is still a chance of El Niño development later in the year, models have reduced the extent of predicted ocean warming compared to earlier in the year, indicating that if an El Niño forms, it is likely to be weak.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased by 94 gigalitres (GL) during the week ending 8 June 2017 to 15,445 GL and are at 68 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin remained low in the week up to 8 June 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system fell to $15.20.
  • World sugar prices fell by 8 per cent following record exports from Brazil.
  • The cheddar cheese price rose 15 per cent at the latest global dairy trade auction.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 7 June 2017 little to no rainfall was recorded across most of mainland Australia. Rainfall totals exceeding 25 millimetres were recorded in coastal parts of New South Wales, eastern Victoria and western Tasmania. Similar totals were recorded in parts of coastal Queensland around Cairns. The highest recorded weekly total was 140 millimetres at Nelson Bay, north of Newcastle in New South Wales.

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 7 June 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: 7/06/2017

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 6 June 2017 maximum temperatures were close to average across much of the country with the exception of Western Australia where temperatures were between 2°C and 8°C above average. Minimum temperatures were generally below average for most of central, southern and eastern Australia due to a slow moving high pressure system. Parts of South Australia recorded minimum temperatures between 6°C and 10°C below average for this time of year. In contrast, minimum temperatures were between 2°C and 4°C above average in parts of western and northern Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 6 June 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: 6/06/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 6 June 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: 6/06/2017

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.

Recent soil moisture percentiles

The maps below show the levels of modelled upper layer (0 to 10 centimetres) soil moisture and lower layer (10 centimetres to 1 metre) soil moisture during May 2017. These maps show how modelled soil conditions during May 2017 compare with May conditions modelled over the 106 year reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps are those areas that were much wetter than the same time of year during the reference period, and 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 (10 centimetres) 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 May 2017 was close to average across much of Australia. The main exceptions were extremely high soil moisture across parts of north-eastern Australia and extremely low soil moisture in western parts of Western Australia. It was also extremely low in isolated parts of central and western Queensland, central parts of the Northern Territory, western and southern South Australia and eastern Victoria. The pattern of relative upper layer soil moisture reflects May 2017 rainfall.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for May 2017

Map showing relative upper layer soil moisture for May 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 May 2017 was well above average to extremely high in north-eastern and south-western New South Wales, western Victoria, eastern Queensland and central South Australia. It was also above average across much of Western Australia and northern parts of the Northern Territory. In contrast, lower layer soil moisture was well below average to extremely low across central and western Queensland and adjacent areas of the Northern Territory, western and southern South Australia and much of western Western Australia.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for May 2017

Map showing relative lower layer soil moisture for May 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 little to no rainfall is expected across most of mainland Australia, with the exception of coastal New South Wales and the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The first east coast low of winter is expected to bring heavy rain and windy conditions to parts of the New South Wales coast, with cumulative rainfall totals expected to exceed 50 millimetres along much of the coastline.

This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As it contains no input from weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 8 to 15 June 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: 8/06/2017

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

Sea surface temperatures across the tropical Pacific remain warmer than average, though cooling has occurred in some areas over recent weeks in response to stronger than average trade winds. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral and the Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO Outlook is at El Niño WATCH.

Four out of eight international climate models suggest tropical Pacific Ocean sea surface temperatures may exceed El Niño thresholds during the second half of 2017. Virtually all models have reduced the extent of predicted ocean warming compared to earlier in the year, indicating that if an El Niño forms, it is likely to be weak. If the tropical Pacific remains warmer than average, but El Niño thresholds are not quite met, some El Niño-like effects are still possible.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral. Four out of six climate models suggest a positive IOD may develop by the end of winter. However, model accuracy for the IOD at this time of year is low. A positive IOD is typically associated with a drier than average winter and spring for southern and central Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-up’, 6 June 2017).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 8 June 2017 by 94 gigalitres (GL) to 15,445 GL and are at 68 per cent of total capacity. This is 35 percentage points or 7,970 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 8 June 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 allocations

The current water allocations for the 2017–18 water trading season for licence holders in New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian water systems are summarised in the following table. The only change is general security allocations in the Gwydir Valley (NSW) which increased to 78.6 per cent.

Allocations at

8 June 2017

4 May 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Murrumbidgee Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Hunter Valley

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan Valley

129%

100%

129%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

125%

100%

125%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir Valley

78.6%

100%

77.8%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a) / 113%(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

5%

100%

5%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

100%

100%

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 remained low in the week up to 8 June 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system fell to $15.20. This is a decrease of $1.77 or 10 per cent from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $22.67 in May across the whole southern MDB.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

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. Data shown is current until Thursday 8 June, 2017. 

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 Thursday 8 June, 2017.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray-Darling Basin (price per ML)

Southern MDB

Goulburn

South Australia

Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 02/06/17 - 08/06/17

$15.20

$28.54

$25.37

$4.95

$26.51

$12.42

Last week: 26/05/17 - 01/06/17

$16.97

$26.57

$25.44

$4.79

$25.92

$16.57

May 2017

$22.67

$27.83

$29.92

$5.50

$27.70

$23.90

May 2016

$233.65

$251.07

$253.98

$190.14

$249.59

$220.62

Commodities

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Market focus

Sugar prices

According to the FO Licht International Sugar & Sweetener Report, Brazil exported a monthly record of 2.5 million tonnes of sugar in May 2017, 9 per cent higher than the previous record set in 2009. This resulted in world sugar prices falling by 8 per cent in the week ending 7 June 2017 to average US14 cents a pound.

Dairy prices

The average price for cheddar cheese rose 15 per cent at the global dairy auction (GDT) event on 6 June 2017 to US$4,285 a tonne. This is the highest average price for cheddar on the GDT since June 2014. The average price for skim milk powder rose by 8 per cent, while the average price for whole milk powder fell by 5 per cent.

Current indicators – 8 June 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate07-JunUS$/A$0.740.740%0.731%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf06-JunUS$/t2022020%205-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf07-JunUS$/t1611591%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.184-13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg06-JunUS$/t412424-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.426-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index07-JunUSc/lb86.987.2<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.73.219%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 contract07-JunUSc/lb14.015.2-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18.8-26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator01-JunAc/kg clean1,4721,495-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,29614%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator26-MayAc/kg clean1,5201,535<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,37511%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, SA06-JunA$/t2041983%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.256-20%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW07-JunA$/t2392352%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.268-11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW10-MayA$/t2142140%226-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.05-JunA$/t503510-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.535-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW07-JunA$/t2722720%2518%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 Indicator01-JunAc/kg cwt6526520%56815%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18-24 kg fat score 2-3), Vic02-JunAc/kg cwt5575501%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.37748%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator01-JunAc/kg cwt6716631%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.59313%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1-75 kg), average of buyers & sellers26-MayAc/kg cwt299297<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.384-22%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)05-JunAc/kg cwt6566560%55019%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 East29-May$/head13610826%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.nanachart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder06-JunUS$/t3,1433,312-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,20543%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder06-JunUS$/t2,1561,9988%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,86715%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese06-JunUS$/t4,2853,72615%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,66961%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat06-JunUS$/t6,6316,6310%3,44493%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.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

Last reviewed:
08 Jun 2017