Weekly update - 14 May 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • Although most cropping regions across southern Australia received average to above average rainfall totals for the three months ending 31 March 2020, April and May-to-date rainfall has been variable and patchy across most winter cropping regions in Queensland and parts of Western Australia. While these conditions are not uncommon for this time of year in Western Australia, they pose a greater risk in Queensland where winter crop production is more reliant on stored soil moisture than in-crop rainfall.
  • Widespread above average rainfall during the remainder of May and through to July will be needed to replenish soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage further plantings in Queensland and Western Australia.
  • Short-term rainfall deficiencies have eased across parts of Australia following above average April 2020 rainfall. Long-term deficiencies still persist across much of the country, but with recent improvements in soil moisture levels this is likely to little or no impact on the current growing season for dry land agriculture..
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, but 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.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall during winter (June and August 2020) will be sufficient to encourage further plantings, and sustain crop and pasture establishment and growth. 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 during June and August 2020.
  • Over the next eight days, high-pressure systems are expected to limit rainfall over Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 10 millimetres is expected across parts of southern New South Wales, much of Victoria and far southern areas of South Australia and Western Australia
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 5 May 2020 and 12 May 2020 by 245 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 9,284 GL which represents 37 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $315 per ML on 7 May 2020 to $310 per ML on 14 May 2020. 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 13 May 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to scattered areas of eastern and southern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of north-eastern and south-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria and Tasmania, and parts of far northern Queensland, south-eastern South Australia and the far south-west of Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of north-eastern Queensland and western Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 25 millimetres were recorded in parts of south-western Victoria and southern South Australia. Lower totals of between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across remaining regions in Victoria and South Australia and parts of northern and southern New South Wales, southern Queensland and southern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining regions of New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia during the week ending 13 May 2020.

Although most cropping regions across southern Australia received average to above average rainfall totals for the three months ending 31 March 2020, April and May-to-date rainfall has been variable and patchy across most winter cropping regions in Queensland and parts of Western Australia. While these conditions are not uncommon for this time of year in Western Australia, they pose a greater risk in Queensland where winter crop production is more reliant on stored soil moisture than in-crop rainfall. Widespread above average rainfall during the remainder of May and through to July will be needed to replenishing soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage further plantings in Queensland and Western Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 13 May 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: 13/05/2020

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.

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

Above average rainfall across the southeast of Australia in April 2020 eased 9-month deficiencies, but longer-term deficiencies still persist across much of the country. For the 9-month period ending April 2020, rainfall deficiencies have eased across western and southern New South Wales, south-western Queensland, South Australia, and southern Western Australia. The area affected by serious to severe rainfall deficiencies (rainfall totals in the lowest 5 to 10 percent of the historical record) has expanded across eastern Queensland following below average rainfall during April, while 9-month deficiencies persist across the far southeast of New South Wales, parts of South Australia and 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 parts of New South Wales and Victoria following above average April rainfall. It will take several more significant rainfall events to significantly ease these long-term rainfall deficiencies, but with recent improvements in soil moisture levels this is likely to little or no impact on the current growing season for dry land agriculture.

For the 25-months starting in April 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain 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’, 7 May 2020).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 9-month period 1 August 2019 to 30 April 2020

20200507-drought1.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/05/2020

Rainfall deficiencies for the 25-month period 1 April 2018 to 30 April 2020

20200507-drought2.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 06/05/2020

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 Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently 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 some 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. In addition to the potential for a negative IOD from mid-winter, warmer than average temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean are increasing the likelihood of northwest cloudbands interacting with troughs and fronts and bearing rain over Australia during late autumn and early winter.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests above average rainfall is very likely for much of Australia during June 2020, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier June across parts of north-eastern and south-western Australia. Similarly, the rainfall outlook for June to August 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are very likely for much 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’, 7 May 2019).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall June to August 2020

rain-forecast-median-national-season1-20200507-hr.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 07/05/2020

The outlook for June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across much of 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 50 millimetres across of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1  millimetre in the north to 25 millimetres in the south 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: 07/05/2020

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 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 June 2020.

The outlook for June and 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 much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres 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: 07/05/2020

The temperature outlook for June to August 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 night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 3°C above average across much of northern and central 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’, 7 May 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmax-forecast-calib-anom-national-season1-latest-hr.png

 

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmin-forecast-calib-anom-national-season1-latest-hr.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 isolated parts of south-eastern Australia and north-eastern Queensland. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across isolated coastal areas of north-eastern Queensland.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 10 millimetres is expected across parts of southern New South Wales, much of Victoria and far southern areas of South Australia and Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 14 May 2020 to 21 May 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: 14/05/2020

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 – 14 May 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 13-May US$/A$ 0.65 0.64 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 0.7 -7%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 05-May US$/t 231 230 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 202 14%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 13-May US$/t 143 147 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 160 -11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 13-May US$/t 360 357 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 351 -3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 14-May USc/lb 64.9 65.0 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 79.0 -18%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 14-May USc/lb 10.2 10.2 0% 11.8 -14%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 07-May Ac/kg clean 1,170 1,225 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.  1,952 -40%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 07-May Ac/kg clean 1,246 1,310 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.  2,093 -40%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 05-May A$/t 390 420 -7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 273 43%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 05-May A$/t 433 448 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 386 12%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 05-May A$/t 360 363 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 379 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/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 b 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 b 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 b 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 01-May Ac/kg cwt 339 352 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 338 <1%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) 11-May Ac/kg cwt 790 820 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 798 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 09-May Ac/kg lwt 300 280 7%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 290 3%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 05-May US$/t 2,745 2,707 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,249 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 05-May US$/t 2,373 2,380 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,521 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 05-May US$/t 4,115 4,480 -8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 4,217 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 05-May US$/t 3,973 4,083 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 6,217 -36%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.
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: 14 May 2020
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