Weekly update - 2 July 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • Although only cropping regions in Western Australia received significant rainfall totals during the week ending 1 July 2020, most cropping regions recorded enough rainfall during June to initiate further planting and support ongoing pasture and winter crop development.
  • Generally average to above average temperatures across southern Australia during June have likely benefitted germination and growth of pasture and winter crops.
  • The latest northern rainfall onset outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that an early northern rainfall onset for the 2020-21 season is slightly more likely across much of the central and east of northern Australia away from the coastlines. An early onset is likely to boost soil moisture and water storages, and benefit summer crops and northern pasture growth.
  • Over the next eight days, persistent high-pressure systems are expected to limit rainfall over southern Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 15 millimetres is expected across much of Western Australia and parts of far south-eastern New South Wales and southern Victoria.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 24 June 2020 and 1 July 2020 by 239 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 10,851 GL which represents 43 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke increased from $180 per ML on 25 June 2020 to $385 per ML on 2 July 2020. Prices are lower in the Goulburn-Broken and higher in regions below the Barmah choke, due to the binding of the Goulburn intervalley trade limit and restriction of downstream trade below the Barmah choke to 15 ML.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 1 July 2020, a series of cold fronts generated rainfall across south-western Western Australia while a high-pressure system limited rainfall across south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-western Western Australia, western Tasmania and isolated parts of eastern Queensland. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across small areas of south-western Western Australia.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of the northern and central wheat belt in Western Australia. Across remaining cropping regions little to no rainfall was recorded during the week ending 1 June 2020.

These falls are likely to support ongoing pasture growth and crop development across Western Australian growing regions.

Rainfall for the week ending 1 July 2020

weekly_rainfall_20200701.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 01/07/2020

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

June 2020 was warmer than average nationally, with a national mean temperature of 1.10°C above average.

Maximum temperatures for June were above average across much of Australia, with very much above average to highest on record temperatures across much of western and far northern Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average across parts of north-eastern and south-western Australia, and below average across parts of central and south-eastern Australia. Generally average to above average temperatures in southern Australia have likely benefitted germination and growth of pasture and winter crops during June.

Maximum temperature deciles for June 2020

max_temp_decile_june2020.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 01/07/2020

Minimum temperature deciles for June 2020

min_temp_decile_june2020.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 01/07/2020

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for June 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

June 2020 rainfall was below average across much of Australia, with average rainfall across parts of the northern and eastern coastlines and isolated areas of well below average rainfall across parts of southern Australia.

June 2020 rainfall totals were below average to average across most cropping regions. Although rainfall totals were low during the first two weeks of June, cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia recorded substantial rainfall during autumn that replenished soil moisture and supported early growth. In contrast, cropping regions in Western Australia and Queensland generally recorded below average autumn rainfall and needed substantial rainfall in June to initiate further planting and support germination and establishment. Higher rainfall totals were recorded across cropping regions in the second half of June, supporting ongoing pasture and crop development in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and initiating further planting and growth in Queensland and Western Australia.

Rainfall percentiles for June 2020

rainfall_percentiles-june2020.png

Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Note: Rainfall for June  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 June 2020 was below average across large areas of western and central Australia for this time of year. Soil moisture was average across much of northern Australia and the eastern coastline.

Relative upper layer soil moisture was below average to average for this time of year across cropping regions. Upper layer soil moisture was below average across parts of cropping regions in western New South Wales, south-western Queensland, central Victoria, South Australia and the northern and southern wheat belt of Western Australia.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for June 2020

june2020_upper_soilmoisture.png

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 June  2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during June  2020 compare with June  conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in June  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 June  2020 was mixed across Australia for this time of year. It was below average to very much below average across much of South Australia, south-western Western Australia and much of south-western Queensland, north-eastern New South Wales, and the far north and south of the Northern Territory. Lower layer soil moisture was above average across parts of northern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, central Victoria, northern Western Australia, the centre of the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was average to above average for much of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Relative lower layer soil moisture was below average for much of Western Australia cropping regions and isolated areas of cropping regions in other states.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for June 2020

june2020_lower_soilmoisture.png

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 June  2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during June  2020 compare with November conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in June  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.

Northern rainfall onset

The northern rainfall onset outlook provides an indication of whether the first significant rains after the dry season are likely to be earlier or later than normal. The onset occurs when the total rainfall after 1 September reaches 50 millimetres, this is considered approximately the amount of rainfall required to stimulate plant growth. 

The latest northern rainfall onset outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that an early northern rainfall onset for the 2020-21 season is slightly more likely across much of the central and east of northern Australia away from the coastlines. The chance of an early rainfall onset is greater than 65% for parts of central and western Queensland, and isolated parts of the Northern Territory. This would contrast the past two northern wet seasons that had later than normal onsets, reducing the length of the dryland summer growing season and the recharge of water storages. An early onset of the 2020­-21 northern wet season is likely to boost soil moisture and water storages, and benefit summer crops and northern pasture growth.

The likelihood of an earlier than normal northern rainfall onset is increased due to above average temperatures in the Indian Ocean and an increased chance of a La Niña-like pattern emerging in late winter or early spring.

Chance of early northern rainfall onset

northern_rainfall_onset_20200625.png

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Persistent high-pressure systems over southern Australia are expected to limit rainfall over the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of far south-eastern Australia, far south-western Western Australia, Tasmania and isolated parts of north-eastern Queensland. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across parts of western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 15 millimetres is expected across much of Western Australia and parts of far south-eastern New South Wales and southern Victoria. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

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

forecast_rainfall_20200702_0709.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 02/07/2020

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 July 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

AUD/USD Exchange rate 01-Jul US$/A$ 0.67 0.69 -3% 0.70 -4% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 01-Jul US$/t 214 212 1% 223 -4% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 01-Jul US$/t 154 147 5% 194 -21% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 01-Jul US$/t 368 374 -2% 364 1% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 01-Jul USc/lb 68 68 0% 76 -10% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 24-Jun USc/lb 12 12 -2% 12 -5% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 24-Jun Ac/kg clean 1,110 1,139 -3% 1,893 -41% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 24-Jun Ac/kg clean 1,176 1,239 -5% 2,104 -44% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 01-Jun A$/t 318 313 2% 358 -11% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 01-Jun A$/t 307 299 3% 358 -14% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 01-Jun A$/t 278 272 2% 349 -20% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 01-Jun A$/t 644 626 3% 591 9% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 01-Jun A$/t 374 370 1% 379 -1% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator b 01-Jun Ac/kg cwt 759 760 0% 504 51% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic b 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 631 689 -8% 411 53% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator b 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 867 877 -1% 637 36% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 17-Jun Ac/kg cwt 289 289 0% 338 -14% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 723 723 0% 932 -22% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 24-Jun Ac/kg lwt 340 340 0% 290 17% chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 11-Dec $/head 105 140 -25% N/A N/A chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 17-Jun US$/t 2,829 2,761 2% 3,231 -12% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 17-Jun US$/t 2,609 2,530 3% 1,999 31% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 17-Jun US$/t 3,631 3,520 3% 4,024 -10% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 17-Jun US$/t 3,993 3,960 1% 6,032 -34% chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
b Note that several indicator price series for livestock are temporarily suspended. More information and temporary replacement series can be found at https://www.mla.com.au/prices-markets/market-news/changes-to-mlas-market-reporting/

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

The Tableau dashboard may not meet accessibility requirements. For information about the contents of these dashboards contact ABARES.

 
Last reviewed: 2 July 2020
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