Weekly update - 14 December 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 13 December 2017 rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres were recorded in south-eastern and northern Queensland, south-eastern Victoria, parts of central and northern Western Australia, western Tasmania and north-western parts of the Northern Territory.
  • Maximum temperatures were close to average during the week ending 12 December 2017. Minimum temperatures were generally close to average for most of the country, although they were below average (-2°C to -4°C) in parts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
  • At the six month timescale (June to November 2017) rainfall deficiencies have decreased in both extent and severity in the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and parts of southern New South Wales. Serious to severe deficiencies remain unchanged in eastern Victoria, eastern Tasmania, and on the western to north-western coast of Western Australia.
  • The Australian Plague Locust Commission report that Australian plague locust densities remained low in all surveyed regions during November 2017. The outlook for summer is for population densities to remain generally low in all regions of inland eastern Australia.
  • Rainfall is mainly expected across northern Australia during the next eight days, with totals up to 100 millimetres in northern parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 14 December 2017 by 42 gigalitres (GL) to 15,943 GL and are at 71 per cent of total capacity. This is 15 percentage points or 3,460 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week ending 14 December 2017 to $92 per ML. This is a decrease of $20 from the same time last week, predominantly a result of significant rainfall into the catchments and the widespread availability of short–term supplementary water which also trades in the market.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 13 December 2017 rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres were recorded in south-eastern and northern Queensland, south-eastern Victoria and parts of central and northern Western Australia. Similar totals were recorded in north-western parts of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania. Totals up to 25 millimetres were recorded in isolated parts of central Queensland and Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded in New South Wales and South Australia. The highest recorded weekly total was 168 millimetres at Falls Creek, in north-eastern Victoria.

Rainfall - week ending 13 December 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: 13/12/2017

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

Maximum temperatures were close to average across most of Australia during the week ending 12 December 2017. Minimum temperatures were generally close to average for most of the country, although they were below average (-2°C to -4°C) in parts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 12 December 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: 12/12/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 12 December 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: 12/12/2017

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

Compared to last month, November rainfall has eased deficiencies across the top of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and parts of southern New South Wales at the 6-month timescale. Rainfall during the first days of December has further eased deficiencies in these areas, while serious to severe deficiencies remain unchanged in eastern Victoria, eastern Tasmania, and on the western to north-western coast of Western Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 7 December 2017).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 6 month period 1 June to 30 November 2017

Map showing rainfall deficiencies 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: 05/12/2017

Australian Plague Locust

The Australian Plague Locust Commission (APLC) produces a monthly Locust Bulletin during the periods of locust activity (spring, summer and autumn). The bulletin gives regional summaries of the locust situation and weather events of potential significance for locust development. It also provides a forecast of likely developments for the next two months (or from autumn to spring) for the Australian plague locust (Chortoicetes terminifera), spur-throated locust (Austracris guttulosa), and the migratory locust (Locusta migratoria).

According to the APLC, Australian plague locust densities remained low in all surveyed regions during November 2017. Despite rainfall producing more favourable habitat conditions in many areas, only low density adults and very few nymphs were identified during surveys.

The outlook for summer is for population densities to remain generally low in all regions of inland eastern Australia. Localised breeding is likely to occur in habitat areas that receive heavy rainfall in December and this will result in small regional population increases. Breeding is likely to continue during summer and autumn, but given the current very low population densities there is a low risk of widespread regional infestations developing during summer, and a very low risk of swarms affecting agricultural regions across several states in autumn.

For further information, go to Australian Plague Locust Commission.

Australian Plague Locust Distribution 1 to 30 November 2017

Map of the Australia Plague Locust distribution. Image provided by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Densities estimated for areas of locust habitat, based on current surveys and reports from current and previous month.
©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Issued: 01/12/2017

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is mainly expected across northern Australia during the next eight days, with totals up to 100 millimetres in northern parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Totals up to 50 millimetres are predicted for isolated parts of far northern Queensland, south-western Western Australia, the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and western Tasmania. Parts of eastern New South Wales can expect rainfall totals up to 25 millimetres. Little to no rainfall is forecast for the rest 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 14 to 21 December 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: 14/11/2017

Australian monsoon onset

While part of northern Australia recorded above average rainfall during October and November, the Bureau of Meteorology has reported that there has been no sign of a significant southern hemisphere monsoon trough near the Australian region for the 2017–18 northern wet season to date. In the last week there has been limited monsoon trough development in the far western Indian Ocean near Madagascar, but none in the eastern Indian Ocean near Indonesia, which can be a pre-cursor to monsoon onset over northern Australia.

The Bureau of Meteorology has stated that the broadscale climate pattern across the equatorial Indian and western Pacific oceans remains unfavourable for monsoon trough development in the Australian region (Bureau of Meteorology, Weekly Tropical Climate Note, 12 December 2017).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 14 December 2017 by 42 gigalitres (GL) to 15,943 GL and are at 71 per cent of total capacity. This is 15 percentage points or 3460 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 2017, 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 14 December 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

On  7 December 2017 NSW Department of Primary Industries – Water announced allocation increases of:

  • 1.06% for NSW Gwydir general security to 17.17%
Water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and South Australia)

Allocations at

14 December 2017

7 December 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

39%

97%

39%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

33%

95%

33%

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

17%

100%

17%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/14.7%(b)

100%

100%(a)/14.7%(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

46%

100%

46%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

63%

100%

63%

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 declined in the week ending 14 December 2017 to $92 per ML. This is a decrease of $20 from the same time last week, predominantly a result of significant rainfall into the catchments and the widespread availability of short–term supplementary water which also trades in the market. This contrasts with an average price of $120 in November across the whole southern MDB, and $93 during the same time 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 14 December 2017. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 08/12/17 – 14/12/17

$91.72

$75.11

$119.58

$47.27

$101.84

$128.88

Last week: 01/12/17 – 07/12/17

$111.59

$85.16

$130.42

$120.62

$112.72

$96.18

November 2017

$119.71

$93.92

$138.96

$137.06

$130.57

$133.16

November 2016

$92.70

$100.58

$101.19

$66.25

$102.07

$84.84

Commodities

Current indicators – 14 December 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate13-DecUS$/A$0.750.76-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.750% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf12-DecUS$/t216219-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18417%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 Gulf13-DecUS$/t150152-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.156-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga12-DecUS$/t419437-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.441-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index13-DecUSc/lb83.883.3<1% This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.80.05%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 contract13-DecUSc/lb14.014.9-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18.9-26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator07-DecAc/kg clean1,6991,6761%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,34926%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator08-DecAc/kg clean1,7621,7252%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,44422%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, SA12-DecA$/t230238-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19816%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW13-DecA$/t258268-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.21918%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW13-DecA$/t245250-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18036%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.11-DecA$/t520522<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.525<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW13-DecA$/t304319-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.25320%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 Indicator07-DecAc/kg cwt579580<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.643-10%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), Vic08-DecAc/kg cwt4874762%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.41617%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator14-DecAc/kg cwt6596354%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.49832%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 & sellers01-DecAc/kg cwt2822772%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.378-25%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)04-DecAc/kg cwt4904900%600-18%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 Indonesia09-DecAc/kg lwt3403206%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.370-8%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 East04-Dec$/head1131130%8641%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 powder05-DecUS$/t2,8302,7782%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,593-21%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder05-DecUS$/t1,7741,7014%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,570-31%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese05-DecUS$/t3,6963,831-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,752-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat05-DecUS$/t6,8366,887<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.5,50024%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

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Last reviewed:
14 Dec 2017