Weekly update - 2 April 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 1 April 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to parts of northern, central and eastern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, southern and northern Queensland, the north of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania.
  • In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of central and northern New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. Higher rainfall totals up to 100 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in parts of north-eastern New South Wales. Falls of between 5 and 10 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria.
  • 2020 national mean temperature was 0.67°C above average and mean temperature was above average for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
  • March 2020 rainfall was 15% below average for Australia as a whole. Above average to very much above average rainfall was recorded across much of New South Wales, south-western Queensland and Tasmania, and parts of northern Victoria, south-western and north-eastern South Australia, southern and northern Western Australia and the south of the Northern Territory. This rainfall has benefited plant growth, soil moisture levels, stream flows and water storage levels.
  • Lower layer soil moisture for March 2020 was generally average to above average across much of Australia. In cropping regions lower layer soil moisture was above average to very much above average for much of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern and northern Australia. If these falls eventuate as forecast across south-eastern Australia they are likely to be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture growth initiated by March rainfall and encourage further planting.
  • Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 15 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales and eastern Victoria. Falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected in cropping regions across parts of New South Wales, southern Queensland and western Victoria during the next eight days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 25 March 2020 and 1 April 2020 by 8 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 8,103 GL which represents 32 per cent of total capacity.
  • The Barmah choke and Goulburn IVT trade limits are currently binding, which has opened price gaps between catchments above and below the Barmah choke, as well as in the Goulburn-Broken and other regions. Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $480 per ML on 26 March 2020 to $450 per ML on 2 April 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 1 April 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to parts of northern, central and eastern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, southern and northern Queensland, the north of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 100 millimetres was recorded across an isolated area of north-eastern Queensland in the Innisfail area.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of central and northern New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland. Higher rainfall totals up to 100 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in parts of north-eastern New South Wales. Falls of between 5 and 10 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in South Australia, Western Australia and remaining regions in southern New South Wales, Queensland and western Victoria during the week ending 1 April 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 1 April 2020

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 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 1/04/2020

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 http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/rainfall/

Monthly temperatures

March 2020 national mean temperature was 0.67°C above average, with mean maximum temperature 0.57°C above average and mean minimum temperature 0.76°C above average. Mean temperature was above average for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Maximum and minimum temperatures for March were above average to very much above average across parts of western and northern Australia. In contrast, maximum temperatures for March across south-eastern Australia were below average to very much below average. Below average or average temperatures have increased the effectiveness of March rainfall, through a reduction in potential evapotranspiration rates. This in turn has benefitted the yield potential of summer crops and the germination and establishment of pasture and recently sown winter forage crops. Lower evapotranspiration rates have also resulted in a rapid increase in soil moisture levels across much of New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

Maximum temperature deciles for March 2020

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

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 01/04/2020

Minimum temperature deciles for March 2020

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

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 01/04/2020

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for March 2020 compared with temperature recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information go to: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/temp/index.jsp.

Monthly rainfall

March 2020 rainfall was 15% below average for Australia as a whole. Above average to very much above average rainfall was recorded across much of New South Wales, parts of northern Victoria, south-western Queensland, south-western and north-eastern South Australia, parts of the east, south and north-west of Western Australia, Tasmania, and the south of the Northern Territory. This rainfall has benefited plant growth, soil moisture levels, stream flows and water storage levels.
In contrast, March rainfall was very much below average to below average across scattered parts of eastern and northern Queensland, southern Victoria, central and northern Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and isolated parts of north-western New South Wales and south-eastern South Australia.

March 2020 rainfall totals were average or above for most cropping regions, with above average rainfall in New South Wales and northern and eastern Victoria. The substantial rainfall recorded in cropping regions across much of New South Wales during March likely provided enough moisture to initiate crop and pasture germination and support early plant growth. While cropping regions in eastern Victoria also received significant rainfall in early March, there was limited follow up rainfall, so early plant growth in some these areas may not have been supported.

Rainfall deciles for March 2020

Rainfall deciles for March 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for March 2020 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/

Monthly soil moisture

Upper layer soil moisture in March 2020 was average to above average for this time of year, across much of Australia. It was above average to very much above average across much of New South Wales, south-eastern Queensland, south-western and north-eastern South Australia, parts of the south and west of Western Australia, the south of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Soil moisture was below average across parts of northern and central Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and isolated parts of southern Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and the north and south-east of Queensland.

In cropping regions, upper layer soil moisture was above average across much of New South Wales, southern Western Australia and parts of western South Australia. Very much above average upper layer soil moisture was recorded in cropping regions across parts of northern New South Wales. Average soil moisture was recorded across cropping regions in Queensland and Victoria, and the remainder of cropping regions in South Australia and Western Australia.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for March 2020

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for March 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled upper layer soil moisture (0 to 10 centimetres) during March 2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during March 2020 compare with March conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in March 2020 than during the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore useful indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating seed.

Lower layer soil moisture for March 2020 was generally average to above average for this time of year across much of Australia. It was above average to very much above average across much of New South Wales, southern Queensland, northern and central Victoria, Tasmania, and parts of western South Australia, south-western and north-eastern Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Lower layer soil moisture was very much below average to below average across parts northern and central Western Australia.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was above average to very much above average for much of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Average to below average moisture was recorded across cropping regions in South Australia and remaining cropping regions in northern Queensland, south-eastern Victoria and eastern Western Australia.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for March 2020

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for March 2020

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled lower layer soil moisture (10 to 100 centimetres) during March 2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during March 2020 compare with November conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in March 2020 than during the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Low pressure troughs and cold fronts are expected to bring showers and thunderstorms to south-eastern Australia during the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern and northern Australia. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for isolated parts of eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 15 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales and eastern Victoria. If these falls eventuate as forecast they are likely to be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture growth initiated by March rainfall and encourage further planting. Falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected in cropping regions across parts of northern New South Wales, southern Queensland and western Victoria. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions in Australia during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 2 April 2020 to 9 April 2020

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.

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 02/04/2020

Note: This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As the model outputs are not altered by weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Commodities

Current indicators – 2 April 2020

Indicator Week ended Unit Latest price Price week prior Weekly change Price 12 months prior Year on year change Chart

Selected World Indicator Prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate 01-Apr US$/A$ 0.61 0.58 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 0.71 -14%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 31-Mar US$/t 239 232 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 222 8%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 01-Apr US$/t 157 157 0% 164 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 01-Apr US$/t 355 345 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 373 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 02-Apr USc/lb 62.0 64.1 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 86.5 -28%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 contract 02-Apr USc/lb 11.0 11.0 0% 12.6 -13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 26-Mar Ac/kg clean 1,442 1,438 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 1,947 -26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 19-Mar Ac/kg clean 1,538 1,616 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,127 -28%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA 03-Mar A$/t 351 358 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 289 21%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 458 448 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 415 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 372 366 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 396 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 404 394 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 432 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 742 766 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 441 68%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 718 761 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 411 75%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 941 960 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 647 45%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 & sellers 20-Mar Ac/kg cwt 411 411 0% 339 21%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 30-Mar Ac/kg cwt 912 917 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 626 46%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 28-Mar Ac/kg lwt 350 385 -9%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 280 25%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 09-Dec $/head 105 140 -25%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 108 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 17-Mar US$/t 2,797 2,952 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,317 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 17-Mar US$/t 2,527 2,747 -8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,405 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 17-Mar US$/t 4,398 4,285 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 4,036 9%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 17-Mar US$/t 4,331 4,302 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 5,662 -24%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Selected world indicator prices
Selected domestic crop indicator prices
Selected domestic livestock indicator prices
Global dairy trade weighted average prices
Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

Water

Water storages, water markets and water allocations - current week


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Last reviewed: 2 April 2020
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