Weekly update - 21 September 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 20 September 2017 rainfall was restricted to south-eastern, south-western and far north-eastern parts of Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across the rest of the country.
  • For the week ending 19 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average across most of Australia with the exception of Western Australia where temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average.
  • Following a particularly dry winter, rainfall totals for September-to-date are currently tracking at less than 20 per cent of the long-term monthly average for September across most of Australia. These dry conditions are likely to further reduce yield prospects for winter crops in central west New South Wales and delay summer crop plantings in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.
  • The impact of dry conditions recorded for September-to-date are likely to be further exacerbated by well above average temperatures forecast on 23 September, with maximum temperatures across most cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland forecast to reach between 33°C and 39°C. The heat poses a risk for winter crops during the temperature sensitive flowering and grain fill stages of development and is likely to increase moisture stress in crops and pastures.
  • For the next eight days, rainfall is expected to be mainly restricted to south-western and south-eastern Australia with little to no rainfall forecast for the remainder of the country.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week to 21 September 2017 by 58 gigalitres (GL) to 16,903 GL and are at 75 per cent of total capacity. This is 76 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin fell slightly to $116 per megalitre during the week to 21 September 2017.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 20 September 2017 rainfall was restricted to south-eastern, south-western and far north-eastern parts of Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across the rest of the country. Rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, most of Victoria, parts of northern Queensland, far south eastern South Australia, isolated areas around Perth in Western Australia and most of Tasmania. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 millimetres in western Tasmania, the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, and around Cairns, including the highest recorded weekly total of 215 millimetres at Babinda.

Rainfall - week ending 20 September 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: 20/09/2017

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

During the week ending 19 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average across most of Australia with the exception of Western Australia where temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average. Minimum temperatures ranged from below average (-2°C to -6°C) in northern Australia and isolated parts of eastern Australia to above average (2°C to 6°C) in Western Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 19 September 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: 19/09/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 19 September 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: 19/09/2017

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.

Monthly rainfall to date

Following a particularly dry winter across much of eastern and southern Australia, rainfall totals for September-to-date (1 to 20 September) are currently tracking at less than 20 per cent of the long-term monthly average for September across most of Australia. The areas of exception include the Gascoyne region and southern coastal parts of Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria where month-to-date totals either exceed or are close to the September average. Month-to-date rainfall is also close to average in far northern Queensland and western Tasmania.

The continued dry conditions are particularly evident across New South Wales and Queensland. This is likely to lead to further reduced yield prospects for winter crops in central west New South Wales and delay summer crop plantings in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Rainfall percentages 1 to 20 September 2017

Map showing rainfall percentages in Australia. Source data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

The impact of dry conditions recorded for September-to-date are likely to be further exacerbated by well above average temperatures forecast on 23 September, with maximum temperatures across most cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland forecast to reach between 33°C and 39°C. This is in excess of 10 degrees above average maximum for many parts of the state. The heat poses a risk for winter crops during the temperature sensitive flowering and grain fill stages of development and is likely to increase moisture stress in crops and pastures.

Forecast maximum temperature 23 September 2017

Map showing forecast temperature in Australia. Source data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Seasonal bushfire outlook 2017

On 5 September 2017, the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) released the Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2017. It reports that large parts of the country face above normal bushfire potential for the fire season due to a combination of above average temperatures and below average rainfall from May to August 2017. In addition, the outlook for warmer spring conditions suggest that the southern fire season is likely to commence earlier than usual and be more active than normal.

For further information, visit Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre website

Southern Australia seasonal bushfire outlook 2017

Map showing the Southern Australia seasonal bushfire outlook 2017. Image provided by the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2017, 5 September 2017

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected to be mainly restricted to south-western and south-eastern Australia during the next eight days with little to no rainfall forecast for the remainder of the country. Totals between 5 and 100 millimetres are forecast for south-western Western Australia with totals exceeding 100 millimetres in far southern parts. Totals between 5 and 25 millimetres are expected in alpine regions of New South Wales, southern and eastern Victoria, and the far south of South Australia. Similar totals are forecast for most of Tasmania, with higher totals on the west coast (50 to 150 millimetres).

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 21 to 28 September 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: 21/09/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week to 21 September 2017 by 58 gigalitres (GL) to 16,903 GL and are at 75 per cent of total capacity. This is 76 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 2000 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 21 September 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 NSW DPI - Water on 15 September 2017 announced allocation increases of:

  • 4% for NSW Murrumbidgee general security to 33%
  • 8% for NSW Murray general security to 28%

The Resource Manager for Northern Victoria on 15 September 2017 announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 9% for Victoria Broken high reliability to 36%
  • 9% for Victoria Campaspe low reliability to 16%
  • 11% for Victoria Goulburn high reliability to 71%
  • 11% for Victoria Loddon high reliability to 71%
  • 8% for Victoria Murray high reliability to 98%

Allocations at

21 September 2017

7 September 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

28%

97%

20%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

33%

95%

29%

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

12%

100%

12%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

98%

0%

90%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

71%

0%

60%

Victoria Campaspe

16%

100%

7%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

71%

0%

60%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

36%

0%

27%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

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

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin fell slightly in the week up to 21 September 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system decreased slightly to $116 per megalitre. This is a decrease of $5 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $131 in August 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 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 Thursday 21 September 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: 15/09/17 - 21/09/17

$116.03

$99.90

NA

$113.18

$128.49

$133.36

Last week: 08/09/17 - 14/09/17

$121.02

$102.18

$168.42

$118.63

$129.44

$127.11

August 2017

$131.22

$110.09

$161.23

$127.58

$136.86

$137.07

August 2016

$111.61

$119.52

$126.31

$98.09

$147.31

$80.97

Commodities

Current indicators – 21 September 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate20-SepUS$/A$0.80.80%0.757%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf19-SepUS$/t2182123%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.19313%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 Gulf20-SepUS$/t145148-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.151-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg19-SepUS$/t4374302%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4214%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index20-SepUSc/lb79.282.8-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.77.42%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 contract20-SepUSc/lb14.214.20%​21.7-35%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicatora14-SepAc/kg clean1,5251,556-2%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 Indicatora08-SepAc/kg clean1,6001,609<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,40714%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, SA19-SepA$/t2212172%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2105%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW20-SepA$/t248257-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2317%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW20-SepA$/t2462460%17838%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.18-SepA$/t5084972%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4884%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW20-SepA$/t3143092%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20454%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 Indicator14-SepAc/kg cwt524542-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.712-26%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), Vic15-SepAc/kg cwt397401<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.410-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator14-SepAc/kg cwt597613-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.613-3%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 & sellers01-SepAc/kg cwt2772770%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)18-SepAc/kg cwt466470<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.579-20%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 Indonesia16-SepAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.360-8%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 East18-Sep$/head1171134%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.9819%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 powder19-SepUS$/t3,1223,100<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,78212%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder19-SepUS$/t1,9201,944-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,293-16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese19-SepUS$/t4,0324,118-2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,51815%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat19-SepUS$/t6,7646,4056%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4,99835%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:
22 Sep 2017