Weekly update - 6 August 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 5 August 2020, high-pressure systems largely restricted the development of rain bearing systems over southern Australia, with the exception of cold fronts that moved over south-western Western Australia and Tasmania during the end of the week. Timely falls in Western Australia are likely to support crop yield potential and pasture growth.
  • While warmer than normal temperatures in southern Australia during July have accelerated crop and pasture development and boosted yield potential, there is also an increased risk of crops now flowering within the frost window in many southern cropping regions.
  • Substantial rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in much of eastern New South Wales and south-western Western Australia during July, likely supporting favourable crop yield potential and pasture growth in these areas. In contrast, production outcomes in cropping regions with low July rainfall and low root-zone soil moisture, particularly north-western Victoria, western South Australia and northern Western Australia, will be reliant on rainfall during the remainder of winter and early spring.
  • Over the next eight days, low-pressure systems moving from the west to east over Australia are expected to bring substantial rainfall to south-eastern and south-western Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and parts of southern and north-eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals of between 5 and 10 millimetres are expected across the remainder of cropping regions in Queensland.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 29 July 2020 and 6 August 2020 by 231 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 11,962 GL which represents 47 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $370 per ML on 30 July 2020 to $345 per ML on 6 August 2020. Prices are higher above the Barmah Choke due to binding of the Goulburn intervalley trade and Murrumbidgee export limits, and the restriction of downstream trade below the Barmah Choke to 0.1 GL.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 5 August 2020 high-pressure systems restricted the development of rain bearing systems over southern Australia, with the exception of cold fronts that moved over south-western Western Australia and Tasmania during the end of the week. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-western Western Australia, much of Tasmania and isolated parts of far southern Victoria and north-eastern Queensland. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of the south coast of Western Australia and southern Tasmania. 

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 25 and 100 millimetres were recorded across parts of the southern Western Australian wheat belt. Lower rainfall totals between 5 and 15 millimetres were recorded across most cropping regions in the remainder of Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia during the week ending 5 July 2020.

Timely falls in the southern Western Australia wheat belt are likely to support crop yield potential and pasture growth. Remaining cropping regions in Western Australia and most cropping regions across Victoria and South Australia have generally recorded below average rainfall during July and will need follow up rainfall in the next few weeks to support current crop yield potential.

Rainfall for the week ending 5 August 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: 5/08/2020

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

July 2020 was warmer than average nationally, with a national mean temperature of 0.99°C above average.

Maximum temperatures for July were above average across large areas of Australia, with very much above average to highest on record temperatures across much of Western Australia and parts of far northern Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average across scattered parts of eastern and south-western Australia, and below average across parts of north-western, central and south-eastern Australia. Generally average to above average temperatures in southern Australia have likely benefitted the development of pasture and winter crops during July. While warmer than normal temperatures have accelerated crop and pasture development boosting yield potential, there is also an increased risk of crops now flowering within the frost window in many southern cropping regions.

Maximum temperature deciles for July 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: 1/08/2020

Minimum temperature deciles for July 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: 1/08/2020

Note: Maximum and minimum temperatures for July 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

July 2020 rainfall was well below average to below average across much of western and southern Australia, with average rainfall across parts of northern, central and eastern Australia and isolated areas of above average rainfall across south-eastern and north-eastern Australia.

July 2020 rainfall totals were below average to average across most cropping regions. Although rainfall totals were low during the first week of July, most cropping regions had average to above average levels of root-zone soil moisture from June rainfall. During the remainder of the month substantial rainfall was recorded across much of eastern New South Wales and south-western Western Australia, likely supporting favourable crop yield potential and pasture growth in these areas. In contrast, cropping regions in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia generally recorded low July rainfall totals. Production outcomes in cropping regions with low root-zone soil moisture, particularly north-western Victoria, western South Australia and Western Australia, will be reliant on rainfall during the remainder of winter and early spring.

Rainfall percentiles for July 2020

Map showing the rainfall percentiles for July 2020 in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for July  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 July 2020 was below average across large areas of western and southern Australia for this time of year, largely reflecting rainfall patterns during the month. Soil moisture was average across much of northern and eastern Australia. Upper layer soil moisture is less important at this stage of the growing season as plant root development will be utilising lower layer soil moisture to support growth potential.

Relative upper layer soil moisture was very much below average to below average for this time of year across most southern cropping regions. Upper layer soil moisture was generally average across cropping regions in New South Wales and Queensland, with isolated areas of below average in southern New South Wales and scattered through Queensland, and above average rainfall in central New South Wales.

Modelled upper layer soil moisture for July 2020

july2020_upper_soilmoisture_0.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 July  2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during July  2020 compare with July  conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in July  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 July  2020 was below average across large areas of Australia for this time of year. It was below average to very much below average across much of South Australia and south-western Western Australia, and parts of western New South Wales, central and western Queensland, western Victoria, the far north and south-east of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania. Lower layer soil moisture was average to above average across much of New South Wales, Victoria and northern and eastern Western Australia, and parts of northern and southern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, central Victoria, northern Western Australia, the centre and east of the Northern Territory and eastern Tasmania.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was average to above average for much of Queensland and New South Wales, and parts of eastern Victoria. Relative lower layer soil moisture was very much below average to below average for cropping regions across Western Australia, South Australia and western Victoria. Production outcomes in cropping regions with below average lower layer soil moisture, particularly north-western Victoria, western South Australia and Western Australia, will be reliant on rainfall during the remainder of winter and early spring.

Modelled lower layer soil moisture for July 2020

july2020_lower_soilmoisture_0.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 July  2020. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during July  2020 compare with November conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2016). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in July  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 systems moving from the west to east over Australia are expected to bring substantial rainfall to south-eastern and south-western Australia. Rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres are forecast for much of New South Wales and Victoria, and parts of southern and eastern Queensland, southern and eastern South Australia, south-western Western Australia and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected for parts of south-eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and isolated parts of the south-western coastline of Western Australia.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and parts of southern and north-eastern Queensland. Rainfall totals of between 5 and 10 millimetres are expected across the remainder of cropping regions in Queensland during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 6 August 2020 to 13 August 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: 06/08/2020

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 – 6 August 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 05-Aug US$/A$ 0.72 0.72 0% 0.68 6% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 05-Aug US$/t 219 221 -1% 200 9% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 05-Aug US$/t 144 150 -4% 161 -10% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 05-Aug US$/t 372 384 -3% 363 3% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 15-Jul USc/lb 69 70 -1% 75 -8% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 05-Aug USc/lb 13 12 4% 12 9% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 05-Aug Ac/kg clean 1,006 1,134 -11% 1,864 -46% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 05-Aug Ac/kg clean 1,055 1,202 -12% 2,064 -49% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 05-Aug A$/t 324 328 -1% 349 -7% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 05-Aug A$/t 309 311 -1% 337 -8% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 05-Aug A$/t 272 273 0% 319 -15% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 05-Aug A$/t 631 626 1% 633 0% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 05-Aug A$/t 356 355 0% 385 -8% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 05-Aug Ac/kg cwt 754 774 -3% 498 51% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 29-Jul Ac/kg cwt 578 579 0% 489 18% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 29-Jul Ac/kg cwt 787 747 5% 699 13% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 299 289 3% 344 -13% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 29-Jul Ac/kg cwt 723 723 0% 940 -23% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 19-Jul Ac/kg lwt 355 355 0% 290 22% 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 05-Aug US$/t 3,003 3,228 -7% 3,189 -6% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 05-Aug US$/t 2,583 2,702 -4% 2,003 29% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 05-Aug US$/t 3,568 3,757 -5% 3,847 -7% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 05-Aug US$/t 3,994 3,874 3% 6,060 -34% 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

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

 
Last reviewed: 6 August 2020
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