Weekly update - 15 October 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 14 October 2020 troughs extended through Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Queensland, and a low pressure system and associated cold front moved over south-eastern, bringing rainfall to parts of Australia. Moderate falls across parts of south-eastern Australia cropping regions are likely to support current yields, benefit pasture growth and boost soil moisture.
  • Global crop production conditions continue to be favourable, with the exception of poor and mixed conditions across parts of the European Union, Ukraine, northern Argentina, southern Brazil, Vietnam, north-eastern China, south of the Russian Federation, and Western Australia and Queensland in Australia.
  • The global climate outlook indicates that average to above average rainfall is more likely between November 2020 and January 2021 for most of the world's major grain- and oilseed-producing regions. If realised, this is likely to benefit winter wheat and canola development leading into dormancy and the development and harvesting of corn, soybeans, sunflower, rice, cotton and peanuts in the northern hemisphere, and the production of winter wheat, canola, corn, cotton, soybeans, sorghum, sunflower and millet in the southern hemisphere.
  • Over the next eight days, a complex low pressure system with troughs is expected to bring rainfall to parts of south-eastern Australia and troughs are expected to bring rainfall to parts of the north, central and southern Western Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 25 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales, Victoria, eastern South Australia and parts of eastern Queensland and southern Western Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 25 millimetres is expected across cropping regions in isolated parts of south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased by 340 gigalitres (GL) between 7 October 2020 and 14 October 2020. The current volume of water held in storage is 14,359 GL, which represents 57% of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke increased from $248 per ML to $265 per ML between 8 October 2020 and 15 October 2020. Prices are lower in the Goulburn-Broken, Murrumbidgee and regions above the Barmah Choke, due to binding of the Goulburn intervalley trade and Murrumbidgee export limits, and the Barmah Choke trade constraint.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 14 October 2020 troughs extended through Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Queensland, and a low pressure system and associated cold front moved over south-eastern, bringing rainfall to parts of Australia.

Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across scattered areas of north-eastern and southern New South Wales, south-eastern Queensland, south-eastern South Australia, southern and northern Western Australia, the north-west of the Northern Territory and much of Victoria and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of southern Victoria and Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of southern and northern New South Wales, far south-western Western Australia and much of Queensland and South Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across most cropping regions in Victoria and isolated parts of northern Queensland. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 14 October 2020.

These substantial falls in South Australia and Victoria are likely to support yield prospects, benefit pasture growth and boost soil moisture. However, these falls are likely to have impeded the progress of hay production activities and may have adversely affected hay quality.

Rainfall for the week ending 14 October 2020

Blank

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 14/10/2020

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/

Global production conditions and climate outlook

Crop production is affected by long-term trends in average rainfall and temperature, interannual climate variability, shocks during specific growth stages, and extreme weather events (IPCC 2012). Some crops are more tolerant than others to certain types of stresses, and at each growth stage, different types of stresses affect each crop type in different ways.

The precipitation anomalies and outlooks presented here give an indication of the current and future state of production conditions for the major grain and oilseed producing countries which are responsible for over 80% of global production. This is an important input to assessing the global grain supply outlook.

September rainfall percentiles and current production conditions

As of the end of September 2020, rainfall was generally favourable for the world’s major grain and oil producing regions.

In the Northern Hemisphere, September rainfall was above average in parts of eastern Europe, south-east of the United States, the west and central-east of Russia, north-eastern and south-eastern China, central Africa, southern India and parts of Southeast Asia. Rainfall was below average across parts of north-eastern Europe, the south-west, central-north and east of Russia, south-western China, the west and central-north of the United States and southern Canada.

In the southern hemisphere, September rainfall was above average across parts of Indonesia, below average across parts of central and southern Brazil, western and southern Argentina and south-western Australia. September rainfall was generally average across the remainder of Australia.

Global precipitation percentiles, September 2020

Map showing global monthly precipitation percentiles below the 20th percentile and above the 80th percentile. This map uses the climatology baseline of 1981 to 2010 for the month analysed. This map uses data from the NOAA Climate Prediction Centre CAMS_OPI. Image provided by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Note: The world precipitation percentiles indicate a ranking of precipitation for September, with the driest (0th percentile) being 0 on the scale and the wettest (100th percentile) being 1 on the scale. Percentiles are based on precipitation estimates from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center's Climate Anomaly Monitoring System Outgoing Precipitation Index dataset. Precipitation estimates for September 2020 are compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the 1981 to 2010 base period.
Source: International Research Institute for Climate and Society

As at 28 September 2020 global production conditions were generally favourable.

In the southern hemisphere, conditions for wheat crop development were generally favourable for Australia and mixed for Argentina. In the northern hemisphere, conditions have been generally favourable for winter wheat sowing in the European Union and the United States, and spring wheat harvesting in the Russian Federation and Canada. Conditions have been mixed for winter wheat sowing in Ukraine and the Russian Federation due to dry conditions.

Conditions for corn were generally favourable for harvest in the United States, Canada, China and India, with mixed conditions in for harvest in Ukraine, Russia and for summer-planted crop in Brazil due to prolonged drought and dryness during sensitive growth stages. Sowing conditions were generally favourable in Mexico, Argentina and the European Union, with the exception of France, Bulgaria and Lithuania where prolonged dry conditions have reduced expected production.

Conditions were generally favourable for harvesting of single-season and late-season rice in China and Kharif rice in India. In the United States, conditions were also favourable for harvesting. In Indonesia, sowing of dry-season rice was extended beyond the normal period due to previous below average rainfall, but with the recovery of irrigation waters conditions became favourable as harvesting of early sown crops continued. Conditions were favourable for wet-season rice in Vietnam for the harvest of the summer-autumn crop and development of autumn-winter crop in the south, and for the summer-autumn crop in the north. Development of rice in Thailand, the Philippines and Japan continued under favourable conditions, with exceptional conditions in the north of Japan.  

Harvesting conditions for soybeans were generally favourable in the United States, Canada, China and India, with mixed conditions in Ukraine due to dryness. In Australia, growing conditions have been favourable for canola.

Crop conditions, AMIS countries, 28 September 2020

Figure showing wheat, maize, rice and soy conditions for AMIS countries during the previous month. Image provided by AMIS. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

AMIS Agricultural Market Information System.
Source: AMIS

Rainfall outlook and potential impact on the future state of production conditions between November 2020 and January 2021
Region November-January rainfall outlook  Potential impact on production
Canada Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of eastern and south-western Canada between November 2020 and January 2021. Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit grain fill in corn, soybeans and sunflower leading into harvest which begins in November. 
United States Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of the northern US and below average rainfall is more likely for the southern half of the US between November 2020 and January 2021. Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit winter wheat and canola development leading up to dormancy in December, below average rainfall in southern growing regions is likely to adversely impact this development.
Brazil Below average rainfall is more likely across parts of southern Brazil and above average rainfall is more likely across scattered parts of the northern half of Brazil between November 2020 and January 2021. Below average rainfall in parts of southern Brazil may adversely affect the development of corn and soybeans, and the planting and development of peanuts, sorghum, cotton, sunflower, rice and millet. Average rainfall in the central-west is likely to benefit soybean development from November and corn and cotton planting in January.
Argentina Below average rainfall is more likely for parts of the north-east and central-west of Argentina between November 2020 and January 2021. Below average rainfall may adversely affect the development of wheat leading up to harvest in December. These conditions may also impact the planting and development of corn, cotton, soybeans, sunflower, rice, sorghum and millet.
Europe Average rainfall more likely for most of Europe between November 2020 and January 2021. Average rainfall is likely to support winter wheat and canola planting in November leading up to dormancy in December.
South Asia (India) Above average rainfall is likely across parts of central India and below average rainfall is likely across parts of the north and south-east.   Generally average rainfall is likely to support winter wheat and canola planting and development from November. Below average rainfall in the south may adversely affect cotton development leading up to harvest in December.
Southeast Asia (SEA) Above average rainfall is likely for parts of Indonesia, the Philippines and southern Thailand and below average rainfall is likely for isolated parts of Indonesia. In Indonesia, the Philippines and southern Thailand, above average rainfall is likely to benefit corn and rice planting, development and harvesting, as well as soybean planting leading up to January harvesting in Indonesia.
Black Sea Region Ukraine - Below average rainfall is likely across central and eastern Ukraine.
Kazakhstan - Average rainfall is more likely across most of Kazakhstan.
Russia - Above rainfall more likely for parts of the central-east and central-south of Russia and below average rainfall is more likely for parts of north-eastern and south-western Russia.
Winter wheat and canola are dormant in the Black Sea Region between November and January.
China Below average rainfall is more likely across large parts of eastern and western China and above average rainfall is more likely across parts of far north-eastern and north-western China between November 2020 and January 2021. Below average rainfall across large parts of China may adversely impact the development of late rice, and winter wheat and canola leading up to dormancy in December. In contrast, above average rainfall in parts of the north-east may benefit the development of these crops.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

A complex low pressure system with troughs is expected to bring rainfall to parts of south-eastern Australia and troughs are expected to bring rainfall to parts of the north, central and southern Western Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for much of southern Victoria, Tasmania, and parts of eastern New South Wales, southern Western Australia and north of the Northern Territory. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected across isolated parts of alpine regions in Victoria and New South Wales.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 25 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales, Victoria, eastern South Australia and parts of eastern Queensland and southern Western Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 25 millimetres is expected across cropping regions in isolated parts of south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 15 October 2020 to 22 October 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: 15/10/2020

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 – 15 October 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 14-Oct US$/A$ 0.72 0.72 0% 0.68 5% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 14-Oct US$/t 265 269 -1% 214 24% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 14-Oct US$/t 183 179 2% 159 15% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 14-Oct US$/t 389 405 -4% 372 4% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 14-Oct USc/lb 73 72 2% 75 -3% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 14-Oct USc/lb 14 14 -1% 12 12% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 14-Oct Ac/kg clean 1,117 1,022 9% 1,365 -18% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 14-Oct Ac/kg clean 1,167 1,054 11% 1,867 -37% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 14-Oct A$/t 358 359 0% 355 1% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 14-Oct A$/t 341 342 0% 345 -1% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 14-Oct A$/t 290 289 0% 313 -8% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 14-Oct A$/t 666 669 0% 640 4% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 14-Oct A$/t 370 363 2% 433 -15% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 775 771 0% 490 58% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 576 507 14% 592 -3% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 802 739 9% 871 -8% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 30-Sep Ac/kg cwt 328 318 3% 375 -13% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 07-Oct Ac/kg cwt 818 818 0% 880 -7% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 07-Oct Ac/kg lwt 355 355 0% 315 13% 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 07-Oct US$/t 3,041 2,985 2% 2,883 5% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 07-Oct US$/t 2,865 2,889 -1% 1,951 47% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 07-Oct US$/t 3,694 3,674 1% 3,484 6% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 07-Oct US$/t 4,131 3,910 6% 5,321 -22% 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: 15 October 2020
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