Weekly update - 11 June 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • Although Australian cropping regions received little rainfall during the week ending 10 June 2020, substantial rainfall recorded across south-eastern Australia during autumn replenished soil moisture and supported widespread planting and early growth. In contrast, cropping regions in Western Australia and Queensland still need follow-up rainfall to initiate further planting and support germination and establishment (see Section 1.1).
  • Short-term rainfall deficiencies have eased across Australia following generally average to above average rainfall from January to May 2020 (see Section 1.2).
  • With both of the major climate drivers— El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD)—currently neutral, secondary drivers such as high pressure systems and a positive Southern Annular Mode (SAM) are expected to be the main climate influences during early winter.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall during winter will be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture development. Across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres between June and August 2020 (see Section 1.3).
  • Over the next eight days, cold fronts and troughs are expected to result in rainfall across eastern and south-western Australia (see Section 1.4). Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and Western Australia, and limited parts of north-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria, and southern South Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 3 June 2020 and 10 June 2020 by 124 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 10,074 GL which represents 40 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke increased from $200 per ML on 4 June 2020 to $220 per ML on 11 June 2020. Prices are higher in the Murrumbidgee and lower in the Goulburn-Broken compared to other regions, due to binding Murrumbidgee import and Goulburn intervalley trade limits.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 10 June 2020, a positive phase of the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has caused rain-bearing systems to be drawn away from southern Australia, resulting in an increase in high‑pressure systems and restricting rainfall across much of Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across isolated parts of the New South Wales coast, the eastern Queensland coast and western Tasmania. In Australia’s cropping regions, little to no rainfall was recorded during the week ending 10 June 2020.

Although Australian cropping regions received little rainfall this week, substantial rainfall across south-eastern regions during autumn supported early growth and soil moisture remains average to above average. In contrast, cropping regions in Western Australia and Queensland still need follow-up rainfall to initiate further planting and support germination and establishment.

Rainfall for the week ending 10 June 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: 10/06/2020

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/

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.

Rainfall deficiencies are monitored to help determine whether rainfall conditions have been favourable or unfavourable for agricultural production. If below-average rainfall continues over months and years, water storages are depleted. Dam and reservoir levels drop, river levels lower (some may dry up completely), groundwater levels fall and the soil dries.

Rainfall deficiencies also give an early indication if we are entering a period of drought, but are not always the best indicator that a drought has finished and more normal production conditions have commenced.

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

Short term deficiencies across Australia have been eased by generally average to above average rainfall from January to May 2020. This rainfall has replenished soil moisture across much of south-eastern Australia and provided a good start to the winter cropping season and a boost to pasture production across southern Australia. Rainfall in May 2020 was above average across much of northern Australia and below average across much of southern Australia, primarily reducing soil moisture in parts of southern Western Australia.

Rainfall deficiencies of around 9-months or less have largely been removed by average to above average rainfall from January to May 2020 across much of Australia, and as such the periods starting August 2019 are no longer being formally monitored within the Bureau of Meteorology’s Drought Statement.

Despite above average rainfall from January to May 2020 across parts of south-eastern and north-western Australia and the Northern Territory, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies (rainfall totals in the lowest 5 to 10 percent of the historical record) continue to persist at longer timescales. It will take several more significant rainfall events to significantly ease these long-term rainfall deficiencies, but with recent improvements in soil moisture levels these historical deficiencies are largely an artifact of the low rainfall over 2018 and 2019 and are likely to result in little or no impact on dry land production during the current winter growing season across southern Australia.

At the 26-month timescale (i.e. since April 2018) rainfall deficiencies have decreased across much of the Kimberley, but have increased across much of southern Australia. Accumulated rainfall deficit at longer timescales—such for the 26-month period since April 2018—are significant in many parts of Australia, and may persist for some time.

Across Australia the effect of low rainfall over 2018 and 2019 continues to be felt in many large water storages. Following the improvement in climatic conditions water storages have started to fill in the southern Murray–Darling Basin but water storages levels remain low in the north. Many of the northern basin catchments have experienced prolonged dry conditions as seen in the 26-month timescale rainfall deficiencies analysis and significant follow up rainfall is still needed to replenish these storages. However, the soils in the catchments of many of these storages are still wet enough that any follow-up rain will likely produce runoff and inflows.

Recent above average rainfall contrasts sharply with the situation at the same time of year in 2018 and 2019; the Bureau of Meteorology will continue to closely monitor short-term or potential emerging deficiencies as the southern wet season continues.

For the 26-months starting in April 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain evident across much of New South Wales, South Australia and the Northern Territory, and parts of eastern and northern Victoria, south-eastern Queensland and southern and eastern Western Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 4 June 2020).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 26-month period 1 April 2018 to 31 May 2020

20200604.drought1.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2020

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 because these help to show whether conditions for agricultural production will be favourable. 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) is currently neutral and likely to remain neutral through winter. It is expected that further cooling in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean will occur and a La Niña-like pattern will emerge, potentially contributing to the above average winter outlook for parts of Australia.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) remains neutral, however it is expected to approach or exceed negative IOD thresholds from mid-winter. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter and spring. It is important to note that caution should be exercised when using IOD forecasts issued during autumn, as they are less accurate than forecasts made at other times of the year.

The below average outlook for June is driven primarily by the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) that is expected to remain positive for the next week and higher pressures across Australia. A positive SAM during winter typically results in less rainfall for the south-west of Western Australia, southern Victoria and Tasmania.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests below average rainfall is likely for much of southern and north-western Australia during June 2020, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier June across much of Queensland and parts of central Western Australia. The rainfall outlook for June to August 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are likely for western New South Wales, north-east South Australia and scattered parts of Queensland. However, parts of northern Australia, southern Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and Tasmania are likely to be drier than average. The remainder of Australia has roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 4 June 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall June to August 2020

rain.forecast.median.national.season1.20200604.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2020

The outlook for June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across far southern and eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of south-eastern Australia, far south-western 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, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, with rainfall of up to 50 millimetres in small areas of these regions. Across most cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1 and 10 millimetres for June 2020.

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

rain_forecast_calib_scenario_75_national_month1_latest_hr_0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2020

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 June rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production through the beginning of winter. In New South Wales, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 10 and 25 millimetres across much of the region excluding the north-west and a 50% chance of receiving between 10 and 50 millimetres during June 2020.

The outlook for June to August 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 200 millimetres across south-eastern, south-western, and far southern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of south-eastern and south-western Australia and western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 millimetres in the north and 100 millimetres in the south between June and August 2020.

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

rain_forecast_calib_scenario_75_national_season1_latest_hr_0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2020

The temperature outlook for June to August 2020 indicates that daytime and night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average across parts of 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’, 4 June 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmax.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmin.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Several cold fronts and troughs are expected to result in rainfall across eastern and south-western Australia over the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern New South Wales and Queensland, eastern and western Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, the south-west of Western Australia and much of Tasmania. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across western Tasmania and isolated areas of north-eastern Queensland and the south-west of Western Australia.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and Western Australia, and limited parts of north-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria, and southern South Australia. Rainfall of between 1 and 10 millimetres is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

If these falls eventuate as forecast across Queensland and Western Australia they will provide a timely boost to soil moisture, support crop germination and establishment, and increase planting confidence for late sown crops.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 11 June 2020 to 18 June 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: 11/06/2020

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 – 11 June 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 10-Jun US$/A$ 0.65 0.67 -3% 0.69 -6% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 03-Jun US$/t 223 221 1% 226 -1% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 03-Jun US$/t 145 146 -1% 194 -25% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 10-Jun US$/t 366 365 0% 366 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 03-Jun USc/lb 67 66 1% 77 -14% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 03-Jun USc/lb 11 11 4% 13 -10% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 03-Jun Ac/kg clean 1,183 1,170 1% 1,943 -39% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 27-May Ac/kg clean 1,239 1,214 2% 2,127 -42% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 03-Jun A$/t 399 397 1% 363 10% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 03-Jun A$/t 397 396 0% 358 11% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 03-Jun A$/t 299 287 4% 357 -16% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 03-Jun A$/t 638 639 0% 598 7% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 03-Jun A$/t 424 426 -1% 407 4% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator b 25-Mar Ac/kg cwt 727 750 -3% 414 76% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic b 18-Mar Ac/kg cwt 718 708 1% 419 71% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator b 18-Mar Ac/kg cwt 941 961 -2% 630 49% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 20-May Ac/kg cwt 329 337 -3% 338 -3% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 20-May Ac/kg cwt 790 790 0% 680 16% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 20-May Ac/kg lwt 300 300 0% 280 7% chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 11-Dec $/head 105 140 -25% - - chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 03-Jun US$/t 2,761 2,677 3% 3,311 -17% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 03-Jun US$/t 2,530 2,549 -1% 1,913 32% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 03-Jun US$/t 3,520 3,864 -9% 3,855 -9% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 03-Jun US$/t 3,960 4,079 -3% 6,120 -35% 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: 11 June 2020
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