Weekly update - 9 April 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 8 April 2020 rainfall was recorded across far northern Australia and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across much of New South Wales, parts of southern and northern Queensland, much of Victoria, parts of northern and south-eastern South Australia, northern Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
  • In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across northern and southern New South Wales, Victoria and isolated parts of southern and eastern Queensland and South Australia. Higher rainfall totals up to 100 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in central New South Wales and parts of south-eastern Victoria.
  • For the three months to March 2020, modelled pasture growth was average across much of Australia. Substantial rainfall across most of Australia during the start of the year and improved soil moisture have contributed to this return to average pasture growth.
  • Short-term rainfall deficiencies across parts of Australia have been eased by above average March 2020 rainfall. Long-term deficiencies still persist across much of the country.
  • The outlook for April to June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 100 millimetres across parts of far northern and southern Australia, and much of western and eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimetres are likely across parts of the south-western coast, south-eastern Australia and much of Tasmania.
  • In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across much of New South Wales, central and southern Queensland, Victoria, South Australia 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. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of western Tasmania.
  • Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 15 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales. Falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected across remaining cropping regions in far northern and southern New South Wales.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 1 April 2020 and 8 April 2020 by 60 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 8,150 GL which represents 32 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $450 per ML on 2 April 2020 to $395 per ML on 9 April 2020, due to increased rainfall. Price gaps between catchments above and below the Barmah Choke, and the Goulburn-Broken and other regions continue, as a result of binding Barmah Choke and Goulburn intervalley trade limits.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 8 April 2020 rainfall was recorded across far northern Australia and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 100 millimetres was recorded across much of New South Wales, parts of southern and northern Queensland, much of Victoria, parts of northern and south-eastern South Australia, northern Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 100 millimetres was recorded across isolated areas of eastern Victoria and Tasmania.

The first eight days of April have brought useful follow-up rainfall totals of between 10 and 100 mm to large areas of south-eastern Australia. Over 50% of New South Wales and Victoria have already reached their monthly rainfall average for April. These falls are likely to be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture growth initiated by March rainfall, and encourage further planting. 

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across northern and southern New South Wales, Victoria and isolated parts of southern and eastern Queensland and South Australia. Higher rainfall totals up to 100 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in central New South Wales and parts of south-eastern Victoria. Falls of between 5 and 10 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in parts of southern Queensland and remaining regions in South Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in Western Australia and remaining regions in Queensland during the week ending 8 April 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 8 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: 8/04/2020

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/

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 7 April  2020, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of northern Australia and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across parts of northern and eastern Australia. In contrast, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C below average across parts of south-eastern Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 7 April 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: 08/04/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 7 April 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: 08/04/2020

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 the average over the 1961 to 1990 reference period. For further information go to: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/temp/index.jsp.

Pasture growth

For the three months to 31 March 2020, modelled pasture growth was average across much of Australia. Substantial rainfall across most of Australia during the first three months of the year and improved soil moisture have contributed to this return to average pasture growth. Above average rainfall across parts of southern Australia particularly benefited pasture growth across parts of eastern New South Wales, southern and eastern Victoria, and eastern Tasmania. Similarly, average rainfall and above average temperatures during the start of the year contributed to extremely high pasture growth across parts of the far north of the Northern Territory. Below average rainfall during March decreased pasture growth across parts of northern and eastern Queensland, northern Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory, and isolated areas across western New South Wales, eastern South Australia and the west of Western Australia.

Relative pasture growth for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2020

Map showing modelled relative pasture growth across Australia. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

©The State of Queensland 1995-2020, Queensland Government

Note: AussieGRASS pasture growth estimates are relative to the long-term record and shown in percentiles. Percentiles rank data on a scale of zero to 100. This analysis ranks pasture growth for the selected period against average pasture growth for the long-term record (1957 to 2016). Pasture growth is modelled at 5km2 grid cells. Source: Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation

Rainfall deficiencies

The rainfall deficiencies presented below are sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly ‘Drought Statement’. As short to longer-term deficiencies become evident the Bureau of Meteorology monitors these events through their lifecycle – from emergence through to their dissipation – with the time-period of analysis each month increasing from a fixed starting point to the easing of the deficiencies.

For further information, go to http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought

Above average rainfall across parts of Australia in March 2020 eased 8-month deficiencies, but longer-term deficiencies still persist across much of the country. For the 8-month period ending March 2020, rainfall deficiencies have eased across western and southern New South Wales, south-western Queensland, western and north-eastern South Australia, south-eastern Western Australia, south of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies (rainfall totals in the lowest 5 to 10 percent of the historical record) persist primarily across parts of eastern New South Wales, South Australia, the west of Western Australia and the north and south-west of the Northern Territory.

Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies continue to persist at longer timescales, however they have eased slightly across most of Australia. It will take several more significant rainfall events to significantly ease these long-term rainfall deficiencies. For the 24-months starting in April 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are evident across much of New South Wales and South Australia, parts of eastern and northern Victoria, south-eastern Queensland, north-eastern and south-western Western Australia and the south-west and north of the Northern Territory (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 8 April 2020).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 8-month period 1 August 2019 to 31 March 2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 8-month period 1 August 2019 to 31 March 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australia Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 08/04/2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 24-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 24-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2020

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australia Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 08/04/2020

National Climate Outlook

The rainfall outlooks presented here show the rainfall amounts which have a 75% chance of occurring during the next month and the next three month period. The temperature outlooks presented here show how far above or below the 1990-2012 average the temperature is likely to be. These climate outlooks are generated by ACCESS–S (Australian Community Climate Earth-System Simulator–Seasonal). ACCESS–S is the Bureau of Meteorology's dynamical (physics-based) weather and climate model used for monthly, seasonal and longer-lead climate outlooks.

For further information, go to http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/about/

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are currently neutral and expected to remain neutral until at least mid-year. There is an increased likelihood of northwest cloudbands moving across Australia due to a strong north to south temperature gradient in the eastern Indian Ocean, with very much above average temperatures in the northern regions of the Indian Ocean and south-westerly winds over the southern Indian Ocean.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests above average rainfall is very likely for most of Australia during April 2020, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier April across parts of north-eastern Australia and the eastern coastline. Similarly, the rainfall outlook for April to June 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are very likely for most of Australia, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across parts of north-eastern Australia, the eastern coastline of Australia and southern Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 2 April 2019).

The outlook for April 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across most of Western Australia and parts of far northern Australia and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of the tropical north and south-eastern Australia, and much of Tasmania. In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 25 millimetres across much of New South Wales, central and southern Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in northern Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1 and 10 millimetres for April 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring April 2020

Map showing rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring during the next month in Australia. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description

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

In many areas where soil moisture is close to average to above average for this time of year, there is a good chance of recording rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production initiated by the early autumn break. In New South Wales, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 10 and 50 millimetres and a 50% chance of receiving between 25 and 100 millimetres during April 2020.

The outlook for April and June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 100 millimetres across parts of far northern and southern Australia, and much of western and eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimetres are likely across parts of the south-western coast, south-eastern Australia and much of Tasmania. In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across much of New South Wales, central and southern Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in northern Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres between April and June 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring April to 2020

Map showing rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring for the next three months in Australia. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

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

The temperature outlook for April to June 2020 indicates that daytime temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average across parts of northern Australia and between 1°C to 2°C below average across much of southern Australia. Night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 3°C above average across the northern half of Australia. Average (- 1°C to 1°C) daytime and night-time temperatures are likely for the remainder of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 2 April 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for April to June 2020

Map showing the predicted average maximum temperature anomaly for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for April to June 2020

Map showing the predicted average minimum temperature anomaly for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

High pressure systems persisting over Australia are expected to restrict rainfall 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 parts of western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 15 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales. If these falls eventuate as forecast they will continue to build soil moisture profiles, support crop and pasture growth and increase planting confidence. Falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected across remaining cropping regions in far northern and southern New South Wales. Little to no rainfall is expected across cropping regions in Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 9 April 2020 to 16 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: 09/04/2020

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 – 9 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 08-Apr US$/A$ 0.61 0.61 0% 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 07-Apr US$/t 230 239 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 222 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 08-Apr US$/t 154 157 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 164 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 08-Apr US$/t 353 355 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 373 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 09-Apr USc/lb 61.7 62.0 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 86.5 -29%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 09-Apr USc/lb 10.4 11.0 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 12.6 -17%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 02-Apr Ac/kg clean 1,287 1,442 -11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,947 -34%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 02-Apr Ac/kg clean 1,353 1,512 -11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,127 -36%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 27-Mar Ac/kg cwt 408 411 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 340 20%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) 06-Apr Ac/kg cwt 912 912 0% 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 04-Apr Ac/kg lwt 350 350 0% 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 07-Apr US$/t 2,820 2,797 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,287 -14%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 07-Apr US$/t 2,514 2,527 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,468 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 07-Apr US$/t 4,395 4,398 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 4,248 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 07-Apr US$/t 4,345 4,331 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 5,867 -26%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: 9 April 2020
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