Weekly update - 26 October 2017

​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 25 October 2017 rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded across most of eastern Australia. Similar totals were recorded in parts of Western Australia, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.
  • For the week ending 24 October 2017 maximum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) across western, central and parts of south-eastern Australia and below average (-2°C to -4°C) in eastern Queensland and far north-eastern New South Wales.
  • The rainfall outlook for November 2017 to January 2018 indicates roughly equal chances for above or below average rainfall for most of the country.
  • Rainfall during November 2017 is more likely to be below average across much of western and southern Australia.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology report that the northern rainfall onset has occurred up to four weeks earlier than normal in northern coastal Queensland, the western Top End and parts of central Australia. This early onset is likely to boost soil moisture levels and replenish dams and on-farm water storages and will benefit summer grown crops and pasture growth.
  • For the next eight days, rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-eastern Australia, and isolated parts of northern and eastern Australia.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology’s El Niño–Southern Oscillation outlook has changed to ‘La Niña Watch’ following cooling in the topical Pacific, changes to atmospheric indicators and model outlooks. However, current climate outlooks do not favour widespread rainfall due to the competing influence of other climate drivers.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 26 October 2017 by 115 gigalitres (GL) to 16,304 GL and are at 72 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week of 26 October 2017 to $132 per ML. This is a decrease of $9 from the same time last week.
  • Unusually the Murrumbidgee trade restriction has come into effect preventing water trading into the Murrumbidgee Valley. In previous years this restriction has normally prevented water from leaving the valley.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 25 October 2017 rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded across most of eastern Australia. Similar totals were recorded in southern, central and northern Western Australia, northern and eastern parts of the Northern Territory, and in eastern South Australia. Higher totals (between 50 and 150 millimetres) were recorded in isolated parts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 359 millimetres at Babinda, south of Cairns in Queensland.

Rainfall - week ending 25 October 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: 25/10/2017

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 24 October 2017 maximum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) across western, central and parts of south-eastern Australia. They were 4°C to 6°C above average in northern parts of Western Australia. Maximum temperatures were below average (-2°C to -4°C) in eastern Queensland and far north-eastern New South Wales. Minimum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) across western, southern and parts of south-eastern Australia. They were 4°C to 8°C above average in central Western Australia and close to average for the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 24 October 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: 24/10/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 24 October 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: 24/10/2017

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.

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

This outlook is being influenced by a number of competing climate drivers. The Pacific Ocean is likely to continue cooling towards La Niña levels over the coming months. However, the ocean warmth that typically appears to the north of Australia and in the eastern Indian Ocean with La Niña is unlikely to develop. In addition, waters in the eastern Indian Ocean are currently cooler than normal. This means that Australia is unlikely to receive the widespread heavy rainfall that is typical of La Niña events. Ocean temperatures around Australia are forecast to be near average during the November to January period, which is also providing little influence towards wetter or drier conditions.

Rainfall during November 2017 is more likely to be below average across much of western and southern Australia. The remainder of Australia has roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average November (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 26 October 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall November 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The rainfall outlook for November 2017 to January 2018 indicates roughly equal chances for above or below average rainfall during this period across most of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 26 October 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall November 2017 to January 2018

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The temperature outlook for November 2017 to January 2018 indicates that there are higher chances of above average maximum and minimum temperatures for most of the country. Chances of warmer than average temperatures are close to 50 per cent for southern Western Australia, south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 26 October 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature November 2017 to January 2018

Map showing chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature November 2017 to January 2018

Map showing chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

 

Northern rainfall onset 2017-18

The northern rainfall onset date occurs when the rainfall total in a particular region reaches 50 millimetres or more from 1 September onwards. It is considered to be approximately the amount of rainfall required to stimulate plant growth after the dry season.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology, the northern rainfall onset has occurred up to four weeks earlier than normal in some areas. The first useful rainfall normally arrives by late October or early November in northern coastal Queensland, the western Top End and parts of central Australia. This year, the northern rainfall onset occurred in these areas at the start of October. This early onset is likely to boost soil moisture levels and replenish dams and on-farm water storages and will benefit summer grown crops and pasture growth.

The Bureau of Meteorology note that the onset timing is greatly affected by the phase of El Niño–Southern Oscillation. During La Niña years, the northern rainfall onset tends to be earlier than usual. Although a formal La Niña event has not been declared, climate models and oceanic and atmospheric indicators suggest that La Niña is likely to develop in late 2017. For further information go to Northern Rainfall Onset for the 2017 to 2018 season

Number of days earlier or later than the long-term average onset date 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is forecast for south-eastern Australia and isolated parts of northern and eastern Australia during the next eight days. Rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are expected in south-eastern New South Wales, across most of Victoria and Tasmania, northern Western Australia and western parts of the Top End. Totals between 5 and 25 millimetres are forecast for isolated parts of eastern and northern Queensland, south-western Western Australia, eastern South Australia and central parts of the Northern Territory. Little to no rainfall is forecast for the remainder of the country.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 26 October to 2 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: 26/10/2017

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral. However, the Bureau of Meteorology’s ENSO outlook has changed to ‘La Niña Watch’ following cooling in the topical Pacific, changes to atmospheric indicators and model outlooks. The chance of La Niña forming in late 2017 is at least 50 per cent, double the normal likelihood. La Niña events typically bring above average rainfall to eastern Australia during late spring and summer. However, current climate outlooks do not favour widespread rainfall during this period due to the competing influence of other climate drivers (warm waters to the north of Australia, and cooler waters in the eastern Indian Ocean). If La Niña does occur this year, it is likely to be short and weak, as sea surface temperatures are forecast to warm again in early 2018.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral and model consensus suggests that this will continue until the end of 2017. IOD events are typically unable to form between December and April due to the influence of the monsoon trough over the tropical Indian Ocean (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 24 October 2017).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 26 October 2017 by 115 gigalitres (GL) to 16,304 GL and are at 72 per cent of total capacity. This is 10 percentage points or 2,304 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 26 October 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 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 at26 October 201716 October 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

30%

97%

30%

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

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%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

91%

0%

91%

Victoria Campaspe

29%

100%

29%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

91%

0%

91%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

50%

0%

50%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

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

Selected water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week of 26 October 2017 to $132 per ML. This is a decrease of $9 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $122 in September across the whole southern MDB, and $97 during the same time last year.

Unusually the Murrumbidgee trade restriction has come into effect preventing water trading into the Murrumbidgee Valley. In previous years this restriction has normally prevented water from leaving the valley. Similar to previous trade closures, several large transfers were the final trades permitted. For trade into the Murrumbidgee to reopen, 14.3 GL of water will need to be traded out (as of 9:00am on 25 October, 2017).

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 26 October 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: 20/10/17 – 26/10/17

$131.67

$112.66

$149.58

$147.56

$140.23

$147.53

Last week: 13/10/17 – 19/10/17

$140.31

$122.54

$152.96

$147.90

$141.99

$148.50

September 2017

$122.29

$102.40

$148.68

$128.39

$130.28

$131.06

September 2016

$96.51

$119.58

$172.27

$64.04

$119.94

$109.64

Commodities

Current indicators – 26 October 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate25-OctUS$/A$0.780.780%0.763%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf24-OctUS$/t2122120%1959%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 Gulf25-OctUS$/t1491490%153-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga24-OctUS$/t4294241%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.436-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index25-OctUSc/lb78.878.1<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.78.80% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract25-OctUSc/lb14.114.2<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.22.8-38%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator19-OctAc/kg clean1,5681,566<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,33118%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator20-OctAc/kg clean1,6141,621<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,37517%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, SA24-OctA$/t215240-11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19510%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW25-OctA$/t258273-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2513%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW25-OctA$/t2562560%18638%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.23-OctA$/t533538<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.536<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW25-OctA$/t3143140%23136%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 Indicator19-OctAc/kg cwt5535383%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.706-22%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), Vic20-OctAc/kg cwt4173887%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.421<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator19-OctAc/kg cwt6296211%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.55114%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 & sellers13-OctAc/kg cwt2772770%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)23-OctAc/kg cwt4624620%587-21%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 Indonesia21-OctAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.nana chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East23-Oct$/head1241149%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.7663%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 powder17-OctUS$/t3,0143,037<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,7609%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder17-OctUS$/t1,7971,895-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,204-18%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese17-OctUS$/t4,1074,109<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,29025%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat17-OctUS$/t6,8416,5045%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5,00737%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:
26 Oct 2017