Weekly update - 23 November 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 22 November 2017 widespread rainfall blanketed much of eastern and northern Australia bringing totals between 10 and 50 millimetres.
  • While recent heavy rainfall has caused some delays to the harvest of winter crops, these falls are likely to increase soil moisture profiles for summer crops, improve pasture growth and boost stream flows and dam and on farm storage levels across much of eastern and northern Australia.
  • For the week ending 21 November 2017 maximum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C above average in Western Australia and 4°C to 10°C above average across much of Victoria and all of Tasmania.
  • The Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre released an update to their Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2017. Bushfire potential has been reduced from above normal to normal in Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales due to above average rainfall in these areas since October.
  • Widespread rainfall is forecast in parts of eastern, central and northern Australia during the next eight days.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology’s El Niño–Southern Oscillation outlook has been raised to ‘La Niña Alert’. All eight climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate that La Niña thresholds will be reached by December 2017. However, current rainfall outlooks for Australia suggest that other climate drivers (such as ocean temperatures around northern Australia) may play a role during summer, to some degree counteracting the typical climatic conditions associated with La Niña events.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 23 November 2017 by 115 gigalitres (GL) to 15,733 GL and are at 70 per cent of total capacity. This is 16 percentage points or 3,553 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin remained the same in the week ending 23 November 2017 at $114 per ML. This is a decrease of $2 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 22 November 2017 widespread rainfall blanketed much of eastern and northern Australia. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Similar totals were recorded in south-eastern and north-western South Australia, northern and southern parts of Western Australia, and in northern and southern parts of the Northern Territory. Higher totals between 50 and 100 millimetres were recorded in parts of all states and territories except Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 316 millimetres at Mount Mercer, west of Melbourne in Victoria.

While recent heavy rainfall has caused some delays to the harvest of winter crops, these falls are likely to increase soil moisture profiles for summer crops, improve pasture growth and boost stream flows and dam and on farm storage levels across much of eastern and northern Australia.

Rainfall - week ending 22 November 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: 22/11/2017

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 21 November 2017 maximum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C above average in Western Australia and 4°C to 10°C above average across much of Victoria and all of Tasmania due to a near-stationary high pressure system over the Tasman Sea. Maximum temperatures were below average (-2°C to -4°C) in north-eastern New South Wales, south-eastern and central Queensland. Minimum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C above average in western and southern Australia, with higher temperature anomalies (4°C to 6°C) in Victoria and Tasmania. They were close to average across the remainder of Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 21 November 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: 21/11/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 21 November 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: 21/11/2017

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.

Seasonal bushfire outlook 2017

On 22 November 2017, the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) released an update to their Southern Australia Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2017. Bushfire potential has been reduced from above normal to normal in Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales due to above average rainfall in these areas since October. Above normal bushfire potential remains for southern, central and western parts of the country due to dry conditions and increased likelihood of above average maximum temperatures.

For further information, visit Bushfire & Natural Hazards CRC

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, 22 November 2017

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Widespread rainfall is forecast in parts of eastern, central and northern Australia during the next eight days. Rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are expected across most of New South Wales, the Northern Territory and Victoria–except the north-west. Similar totals are forecast in south-eastern South Australia, northern Western Australia and scattered parts of Queensland. Higher totals (between 50 and 100 millimetres) are forecast in north-eastern New South Wales, northern parts of the Kimberley in Western Australia, and in the Northern Territory.

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 23 to 30 November 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: 23/11/2017

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

Sea surface temperature anomalies in the tropical Pacific are approaching La Niña thresholds and as a result the Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO outlook has been raised to ‘La Niña Alert’. This means there is a 70 per cent chance of La Niña occurring–approximately triple the normal likelihood. All eight climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate that La Niña thresholds will be reached by December 2017, although most model outlooks suggest the event will be short-lived.

La Niña is typically associated with above average winter–spring rainfall, particularly over eastern Australia. By summer, the La Niña influence on Australian rainfall weakens in most areas. Additionally, current rainfall outlooks for Australia suggest that other climate drivers (such as ocean temperatures around northern Australia) may play a role during summer, to some degree counteracting La Niña effects. La Niña can also increase the likelihood of extended warm periods for south-eastern Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 21 November 2017).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 23 November 2017 by 115 gigalitres (GL) to 15,733 GL and are at 70 per cent of total capacity. This is 16 percentage points or 3,553 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 23 November 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.

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin remained the same in the week ending 23 November 2017 at $114 per ML. This is a decrease of $2 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $139 in October across the whole southern MDB, and $73 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 23 November 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: 17/11/17 – 23/11/17

$113.83

$92.19

$132.50

$145.00

$127.14

$135.11

Last week: 10/11/17 – 16/11/17

$115.43

$98.07

$137.26

$108.93

$136.55

$136.42

October 2017

$138.94

$114.28

$176.71

$137.69

$143.93

$148.38

October 2016

$72.87

$88.96

$76.51

$50.75

$103.94

$76.25

Commodities

Current indicators – 18 November 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate22-NovUS$/A$0.760.760%0.743%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf21-NovUS$/t219223-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19115%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 Gulf22-NovUS$/t1501481%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.151<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga21-NovUS$/t437438<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4233%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index22-NovUSc/lb80.379.6<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.80.8<1%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 contract22-NovUSc/lb15.215.01%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20.0-24%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator16-NovAc/kg clean1,6831,681<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,31428%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator17-NovAc/kg clean1,7251,722<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,35327%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, SA21-NovA$/t234232<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20315%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW22-NovA$/t2532530%2396%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW22-NovA$/t2512462%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.17643%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.13-NovA$/t5445361%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5342%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW18-NovA$/t3093090%23333%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 Indicator23-NovAc/kg cwt577579<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.649-11%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), Vic24-NovAc/kg cwt4704592%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.41214%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator16-NovAc/kg cwt600625-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.53911%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 & sellers10-NovAc/kg cwt2762760%378-27%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)20-NovAc/kg cwt4864860%611-20%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 Indonesia18-NovAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.350-6%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 East20-Nov$/head11210012%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.8630%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 powder21-NovUS$/t2,7782,852-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,423-19%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder21-NovUS$/t1,7011,818-6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,562-34%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese21-NovUS$/t3,8314,001-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,6974%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat21-NovUS$/t6,8876,894<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,34829%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:
23 Nov 2017