Weekly update - 10 August 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 9 August 2017 widespread rainfall was recorded across southern Australia with totals between 5 and 50 millimetres in southern Western Australia, southern and eastern South Australia, parts of eastern Queensland, and across most of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania.
  • For the week ending 8 August 2017 maximum temperatures were close to average for most of Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average in north-eastern Australia and below average in western and north-western Australia.
  • For the five month period from March to July 2017, large areas of Western Australia recorded lowest on record rainfall. Rainfall deficiencies persist on the Eyre, Yorke and Fleurieu peninsulas in South Australia, and West Gippsland and adjacent parts of north-eastern Victoria.
  • During the next eight days rainfall is expected to be restricted to southern parts of the country. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-western Western Australia, south-eastern South Australia, most of Victoria and Tasmania, and alpine regions of New South Wales. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 150 millimetres in western Tasmania.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 10 August 2017 by 76 gigalitres (GL) to 15,783 GL and are at 70 per cent of total capacity. This is 12 percentage points or 2,655 GL more than at the same time last year.
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries announced an 11 per cent starting allocation for general security entitlements in Gwydir and a 7 per cent starting allocation for general security entitlements in Lower Namoi.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin continued to increase in the week up to 10 August 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system climbed to $143.
  • The world sugar indicator price declined by 5 per cent, following an increase in world sugar supply and weak import demand from China.
  • Australian exports of major crops increased substantially in 2016–17, partly as a result of increased demand for wheat and chickpeas from India.
  • EU import demand drove Australian canola exports significantly higher in 2016–17.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 9 August 2017 widespread rainfall was recorded across southern Australia. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded in southern Western Australia, southern and eastern South Australia, and across most of Victoria and New South Wales. Similar totals were recorded in parts of eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 millimetres in far south-western Western Australia, southern South Australia, northern Tasmania, and alpine regions of Victoria and New South Wales The highest recorded weekly total was 156 millimetres at Falls Creek in the Victorian Alps.

These falls have been particularly timely across parts of the northern and central wheatbelt in Western Australia, northern agricultural areas in South Australia and parts of central and southern New South Wales, which had all recorded below average falls during June and July. The heavy falls have boosted soil moisture levels and are likely to provide improved prospects for moisture-stressed crops and pastures. In many areas August rainfall totals are now close to the monthly average for August, and upper soil moisture is very much above average.

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 9 August 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: 9/08/2017

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 8 August 2017 maximum temperatures were close to average for most of Australia. Parts of south-eastern and north-western Australia recorded maximum temperatures between 2°C and 4°C below average. Maximum temperatures were between 2°C and 4°C above average in parts of eastern Queensland. Minimum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) in north-eastern Australia, and below average (-4°C to -8°C) in western and north-western Australia. Minimum temperatures were close to average for the remainder of Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 8 August 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: 8/08/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 8 August 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: 8/08/2017

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.

Rainfall deficiencies

For the five month period from March to July 2017, large areas of Western Australia recorded lowest on record rainfall. Rainfall deficiencies persist on the Eyre, Yorke and Fleurieu peninsulas in South Australia. Deficiencies also remain in West Gippsland and adjacent parts of north-eastern Victoria.

In Tasmania, rainfall deficiencies for the period March to July 2017 have decreased in spatial extent but increased slightly in severity when compared to the four month period (March to June 2017). Rainfall deficiencies have decreased across the southern half of the Northern Territory and western Queensland following a wetter than normal July in these areas (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 3 August 2017).

Rainfall deficiencies for the period 1 March to 31 July 2017

Map showing rainfall deficiencies in Australia for the 5 month period from 1 March to 31 July 2017. 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: 03/08/2017

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected to be restricted to southern parts of the country during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-western Western Australia, south-eastern South Australia, most of Victoria, and alpine regions of New South Wales. Rainfall totals are forecast to exceed 150 millimetres in western Tasmania.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 10 to 17 August 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. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 10/07/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 10 August 2017 by 76 gigalitres (GL) to 15,783 GL and are at 70 per cent of total capacity. This is 12 percentage points or 2,655 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 10 August 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, Victoria and South Australia water systems are summarised in the following table. NSW Department of Primary Industries announced an 11 per cent starting allocation for general security entitlements in Gwydir and a 7 per cent starting allocation for general security entitlements in Lower Namoi.

Allocations at 10 August 20171 August 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

13%

97%

13%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

20%

95%

20%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

36%

100%

36%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

0%

100%

0%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

0%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

11%

100%

0%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/8%(b)

100%

100%(a)/8%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

66%

0%

66%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

40%

0%

40%

Victoria Campaspe

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

40%

0%

40%

Victoria Bullarook

0%

32%

0%

32%

Victoria Broken

0%

6%

0%

6%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

(a) General Security A class. (b) General Security B class

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin continued to increase in the week up to 10 August 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system climbed to $143. This is an increase of $17 or 14 per cent from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $125 in July 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. 

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 10 August, 2017.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 04/08/17 - 10/08/17

$143.10

$131.27

$148.06

$145.38

$146.35

$148.73

Last week: 28/07/17 - 03/08/17

$126.00

$116.88

$132.00

$121.59

$128.72

$133.24

July 2017

$124.72

$110.23

$191.30

$107.76

$118.79

$117.80

July 2016

$157.33

$229.63

$240.60

$115.56

$181.01

$208.58

Commodities

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Market focus

Sugar

The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no. 11 contract) declined by 5 per cent to average US14 cents a pound in the week ending 9 August 2017. This followed an increase in the supply of sugar available for export and weaker import demand. Sugar production in Brazil, Australia and Thailand rose by 28 per cent to 17.4 million tonnes in the fortnight to 16 July 2017. Chinese sugar imports declined by 24 per cent to 1.9 million tonnes (refined) in the first nine months of 2016–17 marketing year (October to September), compared with the same period in the previous year.

Crop exports

Exports of major crops increased substantially in 2016–17. The Australian Bureau of Statistics released June 2017 Australian export data on 4 August 2017. In 2016–17, Australia exported:

  • 22.1 million tonnes of wheat, valued at $6.1 billion. In 2016–17 the volume and value of exports increased 40 and 19 per cent respectively, compared with 2015–16.
  • 9.5 million tonnes of barley, valued at $2.4 billion. In 2016–17 the volume and value of exports increased 74 and 36 per cent respectively, compared with 2015–16.
  • 3.6 million tonnes of canola, valued at $2.1 billion. In 2016–17 the volume and value of exports increased 85 and 94 per cent respectively, compared with 2015–16.
  • 2.0 million tonnes of chickpeas valued at $1.9 billion. In 2016–17 the volume and value of exports increased 74 and 90 per cent respectively, compared with 2015–16.

Value of major crop exports by month, July 2015 to June 2017

Stacked bar chart showing value of major crop exports (chickpeas, canola, barley, wheat) by month, July 2015 to June 2017 

Note: Merchandise trade data subject to revision by the ABS as more complete and accurate information becomes available. 2016–17 trade data may be revised until February 2018.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, April 2017 (cat. no. 5368.0)

Indian wheat and chickpea imports

India is a large importer of Australian wheat in years when its domestic supplies of high-quality milling wheat are insufficient to meet demand. This occurred in 2016–17. As a result, the Indian Government reduced the wheat import duty from 25 per cent to 10 per cent in September 2016 before eliminating it completely in December 2016. These changes were driven by a domestic shortage of milling quality wheat following a lower-quality harvest and drawdown in stocks. Total wheat imports into India increased substantially in 2016-17, 44 per cent of which was sourced from Australia. The Indian government reinstated the wheat import duty in March 2017 following expectations of a larger and better quality domestic harvest in 2017.

India is the world’s largest chickpea producer and consumer and often supplements domestic supplies with chickpea imports, mostly from Australia. Following consecutive years of unfavourable seasonal conditions, import demand and international prices have been high. Australian chickpea exports to India increased by almost 90 per cent in 2016–17 to a record $1.1 billion. The export unit value for Australian chickpeas was $975 a tonne in 2016–17, the highest in more than 20 years.

Canola exports

In 2016–17 the value of Australian canola exports to the European Union increased by 91 per cent to $1.87 billion. EU demand increased for canola meal for livestock feed and canola oil for biodiesel production. The EU share of Australia canola exports, by value, was 88 per in 2016–17, steady from 89 per cent in 2015–16 but significantly higher than the 41 per cent in 2014–15.

Current indicators – 10 August 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate09-AugUS$/A$0.790.8-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.764%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf08-AugUS$/t209218-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1919%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 Gulf09-AugUS$/t1551531%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1531%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg08-AugUS$/t425424<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4016%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index09-AugUSc/lb80.782.6-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.83.9-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract09-AugUSc/lb14.014.7-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20.1-30%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicatora13-JulAc/kg clean1,5221,524<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,31116%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicatora14-JulAc/kg clean1,5701,561<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,42310%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, SA08-AugA$/t227231-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.225<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW09-AugA$/t262270-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2419%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW09-AugA$/t246251-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19327%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.07-AugA$/t505502<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4874%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW09-AugA$/t3093090%22438%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 Indicator03-AugAc/kg cwt574584-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.674-15%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), Vic04-AugAc/kg cwt392413-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.395<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator03-AugAc/kg cwt5965763%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.644-7%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 & sellers28-JunAc/kg cwt274276<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.377-27%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)31-JulAc/kg cwt6476470%57413%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 East31-Jul$/head12711510%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.9337%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 powder01-AugUS$/t3,3433,1147%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,26548%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder01-AugUS$/t1,9662,024-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,965<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese01-AugUS$/t3,9324,112-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,88936%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat01-AugUS$/t6,2896,577-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,79766%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a The Australian Wool Exchange is on a three-week recess.
b 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

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Last reviewed:
10 Aug 2017