Weekly update - 12 April 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 11 April 2018 little to no rainfall was received across most of the country.
  • A series of slow-moving high pressure systems have brought dry conditions to southern Australia during the first two weeks of April 2018. Rainfall totals for April to date (1 to 11 April) are less than 1 millimetre across winter cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of Western Australia.
  • Maximum temperatures were 8°C to 10°C above average in New South Wales, north-western Victoria, South Australia and central parts of Western Australia for the week ending 10 April 2018. Several locations in New South Wales and Victoria observed the hottest April day on record.
  • The combination of well above average temperatures and low rainfall during the first two weeks of April has further intensified deficiencies in soil moisture that were evident across southern Australia at the end of March. This is likely to have severely limited pasture production and early cereal and oilseed planting opportunities in affected areas.
  • The mid-month climate outlook for May to July 2018 indicates that parts of south-eastern Victoria, Tasmania and northern Australia have an increased chance of exceeding the median rainfall. There is no strong tendency towards either wetter or drier than average conditions for the rest of Australia.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology report that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral and most models predict a neutral pattern to persist through autumn and winter.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is mainly expected in northern Australia and isolated parts of south-eastern Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 12 April 2018 by 159 gigalitres (GL) to 11,410 GL and are at 50 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,771 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin remained around the same level in the week ending 12 April 2018 at $129 per ML. This is a slight increase of $2 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 11 April 2018 little to no rainfall was received across most of the country. Totals between 25 and 50 millimetres were recorded in northern parts of the Kimberley and northern parts of the Top End. Similar totals were recorded in far northern Queensland and isolated coastal areas around Rockhampton and Bundaberg. Totals up to 50 millimetres were also recorded in south-western Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 96 millimetres at Pirlangimpi Airport, in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

Rainfall - week ending 11 April 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 11/04/2018

Note: 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.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 10 April 2018, maximum temperatures were well above average across most of the country. The highest anomalies were between 8°C to 10°C above average in New South Wales, north-western Victoria, South Australia and central parts of Western Australia. Several locations in New South Wales and Victoria observed the hottest April day on record. Minimum temperatures were also above average (2°C to 4°C) for most of the country, although the highest anomalies (6°C to 8°C) were in south-western Queensland and north-eastern South Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 10 April 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 10/04/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 10 April 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 10/04/2018

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 totals to date

A series of slow-moving high pressure systems have brought dry conditions to southern Australia during the first two weeks of April 2018. Rainfall totals for April to date (1 to 11 April) are less than 1 millimetre across winter cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of Western Australia. Temperatures across southern Australia have also been well above average for this time of year.

The combination of well above average temperatures and low rainfall during the first two weeks of April have further intensified soil moisture deficiencies that were evident across southern Australia at the end of March. This is likely to have severely limited pasture production and early cereal and oilseed planting opportunities in affected areas.

Rainfall totals 1 to 11 April 2018

 

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Mid-month National Climate Outlook

The rainfall and temperature outlooks presented below show the likelihood, represented as a percentage, of experiencing wetter or drier (and warmer or cooler) than median climatic conditions for the given outlook periods. Climate outlooks are generated by the Predictive Climate Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA), a dynamical (physics-based) climate model developed by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric research division.

For further information, go to About the climate outlooks

The current outlook reflects the neutral state of most major climate drivers, with no strong shift towards wetter or drier conditions across most of Australia. A neutral ENSO state is forecast to persist through the forecast period. Above average sea surface temperatures in the Tasman Sea, associated with lower pressures over eastern Australia, may be increasing the chance of above average rainfall in the far southeast of the country.

There are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average May for most of the country. Parts of far northern Queensland have slightly higher chances of exceeding the median rainfall while coastal parts of Western Australia have lower chances (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 12 April 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall May 2018

Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The rainfall outlook for May to July indicates an increased chance of exceeding the median across parts of south-eastern Victoria, Tasmania and northern Australia. There is no strong tendency towards either wetter or drier than average conditions for the rest of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 12 April 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median May to July 2018

Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The maximum temperature outlook for May to July 2018 indicates no strong signal toward either above or below temperatures for most of Australia. Maximum temperatures are more likely to be above average in parts of southern Victoria, and Tasmania. Minimum temperatures are more likely to be below average in Queensland, and above average in southern parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 12 April 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature May to July 2018

Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature May to July 2018

Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, rainfall is mainly expected in northern Australia and isolated parts of south-eastern Australia. Totals between 25 and 100 millimetres are forecast for northern parts of Queensland and the Northern Territory, and alpine areas of New South Wales and Victoria. Similar totals are expected in south-western Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, and western Tasmania. Higher totals (exceeding 50 millimetres) are possible in coastal areas around Cairns. Little to no rainfall is expected across the remainder of the country.

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 12 to 19 April 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 12/04/2018

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

The Bureau of Meteorology report that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral and most models predict a neutral pattern to persist through autumn and winter.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is also currently neutral. Four of six models suggest a neutral IOD for autumn and early winter, although two models indicate a negative IOD is possible. Current ENSO and IOD model outlooks should be viewed with caution as they have lower accuracy during autumn than at other times of the year (Bureau of Meteorology, ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 10 April 2018).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 12 April 2018 by 159 gigalitres (GL) to 11,410 GL and are at 50 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,771 GL less than at the same time last year.

Visit the interactive Tableau data dashboard

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 2001 to 2018, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on water available in dams used for irrigation the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 12 April 2018 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 and charts.

Water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and South Australia)

Allocations at

12 April 2018

3 April 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

51%

97%

51%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

38%

95%

38%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

38%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

2%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

18%

100%

18%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

59%

100%

59%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

100%

100%

100%

100%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin remained around the same level in the week ending 12 April 2018 at $129 per ML. This is a slight increase of $2 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $117 in March across the whole southern MDB, and $42 during the same month last year.

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 estimated 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 12 April 2018. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 06/04/18 – 12/04/18

$129.22

$117.35

$107.14

$152.43

$133.08

$134.83

Last week: 30/03/18 – 05/04/18

$127.37

$115.10

$121.92

$153.02

$134.07

$129.75

March 2018

$116.99

$101.25

$106.56

$150.67

$122.36

$114.64

March 2017

$41.53

$44.63

$44.80

$17.66

$45.96

$41.03

Commodities

Current indicators – 12 April 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate11-AprUS$/A$0.770.770%0.753%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf10-AprUS$/t2452335%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.19228%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 Gulf11-AprUS$/t1761722%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.15712%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga10-AprUS$/t427425<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.424<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index11-AprUSc/lb91.790.8<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.85.57%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 contract11-AprUSc/lb12.312.4<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.16.7-26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator29-MarAc/kg clean1,7721,778<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,50218%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator30-MarAc/kg clean1,8711,869<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,48826%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, SA10-AprA$/t242244<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.17935%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW11-AprA$/t280278<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.21133%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW11-AprA$/t2842792%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.19347%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.09-AprA$/t4924920%515-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW11-AprA$/t3603503%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.24945%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 Indicator05-AprAc/kg cwt5405400%667-19%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), Vic06-AprAc/kg cwt4584453%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.496-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator29-MarAc/kg cwt615619<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.654-6%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 & sellers30-MarAc/kg cwt269270<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.312-14%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)09-AprAc/kg cwt4724720%643-27%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia07-AprAc/kg lwt3103100%340-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East02-Apr$/head124129-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.126-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder03-AprUS$/t3,2783,2262%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,92412%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder03-AprUS$/t1,8491,887-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,913-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese03-AprUS$/t3,6793,6092%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,28812%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat03-AprUS$/t5,8066,249-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.5,936-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease 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

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Last reviewed:
13 Apr 2018