Weekly update - 18 January 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 17 January 2018 rainfall totals exceeding 25 millimetres were recorded in parts of all states and territories. Little to no rainfall was recorded in southern Queensland, central New South Wales, western Victoria, southern and eastern Western Australia, and eastern South Australia.
  • Maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across north-eastern Australia during the week ending 16 January 2018. They were 2°C to 6°C below average in central parts of Western Australia.
  • At the seven month timescale (June to December 2017) rainfall deficiencies have decreased in both extent and severity in inland New South Wales, and in Gippsland in Victoria. Severe deficiencies remain in parts of eastern New South Wales, north-eastern Tasmania, and in the Gascoyne region in Western Australia.
  • The Australian Plague Locust Commission report that Australian plague locust densities remained low in all surveyed regions during December 2017. Population densities are expected to remain generally low in all regions of inland eastern Australia for the remainder of summer.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected mainly in northern Australia, and in isolated parts of western and south-eastern Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 18 January 2018 by 383 gigalitres (GL) to 14,365 GL and are at 64 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,885 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week ending 18 January 2018 to $97 per ML. This is a decrease of $8 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 17 January 2018 rainfall totals exceeding 25 millimetres were recorded in parts of all states and territories. Little to no rainfall was recorded in southern Queensland, central New South Wales, western Victoria, southern and eastern Western Australia, and eastern South Australia. Totals between 25 and 100 millimetres were observed across the Cape York Peninsula and parts of western Queensland, in north-eastern and south-eastern New South Wales, and eastern Victoria. Similar totals were recorded across most of the Northern Territory and Western Australia, western Tasmania, and isolated parts of western South Australia. On 11 January, tropical cyclone Joyce brought rainfall totals exceeding 200 millimetres to the far western Kimberly coast. The system weakened to a tropical low and brought totals between 50 and 150 millimetres from north-western to south-western Western Australia. Rainfall totals also exceeded 200 millimetres in north-eastern Queensland, including the highest recorded weekly total of 386 millimetres at Tung Oil Alert, near Innisfail.

Rainfall - week ending 17 January 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: 17/01/2018

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 16 January 2018, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across north-eastern Australia. They were 2°C to 6°C below average in central parts of Western Australia. Minimum temperatures were close to average for most of the country, except for above average (2°C to 6°C) anomalies in central and south-western Queensland, parts of northern New South Wales, north-eastern South Australia, and south-eastern parts of the Northern Territory.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 16 January 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: 16/01/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 16 January 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: 16/01/2018

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.

Rainfall deficiencies

December rainfall has eased deficiencies across south-eastern Australia at the seven month timescale (June to December 2017). Compared to June to November 2017, rainfall deficiencies have decreased in both extent and severity in inland New South Wales, and in Gippsland in Victoria. Severe deficiencies remain in parts of eastern New South Wales, north-eastern Tasmania, and in the Gascoyne region in Western Australia.

A widespread rainfall event during early December saw large areas of northern Victoria and southern New South Wales receive two to three times the average total December rainfall. Many sites in Victoria, southern New South Wales and northern Tasmania observed their wettest December day on record (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 9 January 2018).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 7 month period 1 June to 31 December 2017

 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 07/01/2018

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 December 2017. The very low population levels identified during spring have continued, despite rainfall producing more favourable habitat conditions in many areas. Low numbers of locusts were recorded in the Central West, Far West and Far Southwest of New South Wales, Southwest and Central West Queensland, and in the Far North and Murray Valley regions of South Australia. Small increases in population density were detected in Central West and Far Southwest New South Wales, and in Central West Queensland.

For the remainder of summer, population densities are expected to remain generally low in most regions of inland eastern Australia. Localised breeding is likely to have occurred in habitat areas that received heavy rainfall in early December, and this will result in small regional population increases during January. Many of those areas did not receive further significant rainfall during December, so nymph mortality may limit potential increases in some areas. Population increases are likely in the Central West, Far Southwest and Riverina regions of New South Wales and are possible in South Central and Central West Queensland. Breeding is likely to continue during summer and autumn, but given the current low population level 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 31 December 2017

 

Densities estimated for areas of locust habitat, based on current surveys and reports from current and previous month.
©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Issued: 04/01/2018

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected mainly in northern Australia, and in isolated parts of western and south-eastern Australia, during the next eight days. Totals between 15 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-eastern parts of New South Wales and western parts of the Pilbara. Totals exceeding 25 millimetres are forecast for northern Queensland, the northern half of the Northern Territory, and northern parts of Western Australia. Rainfall totals between 100 and 150 millimetres are predicted across most of the Top End, Cape York Peninsula and northern parts of the Kimberley. Higher totals, exceeding 300 millimetres, are forecast in coastal parts of the tropical north. Little to no rainfall is expected across the rest of Australia.

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 18 to 25 January 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: 18/01/2018

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 18 January 2018 by 383 gigalitres (GL) to 14,365 GL and are at 64 per cent of total capacity. This is 17 percentage points or 3,885 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 18 January 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

On 15 January 2018 NSW Department of Primary Industries – Water announced allocation increases of:

  • 3% for NSW Murray general security to 49%

On 15 January 2018 the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 3% for Victoria Campaspe low reliability to 52%

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

18 January 2018

10 January 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

49%

97%

46%

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)/15.83%(b)

100%

100%(a)/15.83%(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

52%

100%

49%

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 declined in the week ending 18 January 2018 to $97 per ML. This is a decrease of $8 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $101 in December across the whole southern MDB, and $82 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 18 January 2018. 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: 12/01/18 – 18/01/18

$96.56

$80.10

$111.00

$125.64

$111.66

$113.64

Last week: 05/01/18 – 11/01/18

$104.92

$78.68

$111.02

$127.92

$112.85

$110.58

December 2017

$101.12

$77.56

$114.64

$120.73

$108.68

$111.58

December 2016

$82.09

$93.83

$108.50

$57.61

$95.63

$87.36

Commodities

Current indicators – 18 January 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate17-JanUS$/A$0.790.781%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.755%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf16-JanUS$/t227229<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20212%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 Gulf17-JanUS$/t156155<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.161-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga16-JanUS$/t429426<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.453-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index17-JanUSc/lb92.189.13% This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.81.813%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 contract17-JanUSc/lb14.014.9-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20.7-32%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator11-JanAc/kg clean1,8181,7603%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,42228%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator12-JanAc/kg clean1,8881,8164%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,49826%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, SA16-JanA$/t222223<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.18520%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW17-JanA$/t2482480%20919%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW17-JanA$/t281280<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.17065%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.15-JanA$/t488484<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.515-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW17-JanA$/t3143143%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.24827%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 Indicator18-JanAc/kg cwt556561<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.653-15%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), Vic12-JanAc/kg cwt481487-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.42214%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator18-JanAc/kg cwt632684-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6094%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 & sellers05-JanAc/kg cwt278280<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.379-100%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)15-JanAc/kg cwt4904900%608-19%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 Indonesia13-JanAc/kg lwt3203200%375-15%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 East15-Jan$/head115126-9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.10114%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 powder16-JanUS$/t3,0102,8864%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,283-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder16-JanUS$/t1,8181,6997%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,612-30%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese16-JanUS$/t3,4863,3175%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,940-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat16-JanUS$/t6,5476,4052%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,52818%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:
18 Jan 2018