Weekly update - 16 January 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 15 January 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across tropical northern Australia, Western Australia, and isolated areas of southern Victoria, eastern and central New South Wales and Queensland. These falls are likely to benefit plant growth and build soil moisture levels in affected areas.
  • The northern rainfall onset has occurred in large areas of far northern Australia, along with parts of eastern and central Queensland, and central Western Australia. The prolonged positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that persisted in 2019 and the late withdrawal of the Indian monsoon have likely influenced the late onset of the Australian monsoon. 
  • Over the next eight days, widespread rainfall is forecast for large areas of northern and eastern Australia.
  • Rainfall totals of between 25 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the active fire zones of southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. While these falls are likely to provide some relief, they may not be sufficient to extinguish the fires and may be patchy due to the nature of storm events.
  • Across Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 25 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland, with heavier falls of between 25 and 100 millimetres expected across north-eastern New South Wales.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 8 January 2020 and 15 January 2020 by 116 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 8,161 GL which represents 32 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke remained steady at $855 per ML from 9 January 2020 to 16 January 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 15 January 2020 widespread rainfall was recorded across tropical northern Australia, Western Australia and isolated areas of southern Victoria and eastern and central New South Wales and Queensland. These falls are likely to benefit plant growth and build soil moisture levels in affected areas.

Across Australia’s summer cropping regions, falls of between 5 and 25 millimetres were restricted to isolated parts of north-eastern New South Wales and northern Queensland. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining summer cropping regions during the week ending 15 January 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 15 January 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: 15/1/2020

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 Weekly Rainfall Update.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 14 January  2020, maximum and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across eastern and central Australia. In contrast, across part of central Western Australia maximum temperatures were 2°C to 10°C below average and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C below average. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 14 January 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: 15/01/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 14 January 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: 15/01/2020

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 Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Northern Rainfall Onset

The northern rainfall onset occurs when the total rainfall after 1 September reaches 50 millimetres. This is considered approximately the amount of rainfall required to stimulate plant growth. From 1 September 2019 to 14 January 2020 the northern rainfall onset has occurred in parts of far northern Australia, eastern and central Queensland and central Western Australia. Despite widespread rainfall in recent weeks, the northern rainfall onset has not yet occurred in much of northern Australia. In most areas where the northern rainfall onset has occurred, it has arrived later than the long-term average onset date. Onset dates more than 28 days late were recorded across large areas of northern and north-eastern Australia.

The prolonged positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that persisted in 2019 and the late withdrawal of the Indian monsoon have likely influenced the late onset of the Australian monsoon. 

Median Northern Rainfall Onset in Neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Years

Number of days earlier or later than the long-term average onset date

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 50 millimetres are forecast for large areas of northern and eastern Australia. Higher rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of tropical northern Australia, eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.

Rainfall totals of between 25 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the active fire zones of southern New South Wales and eastern Victoria. While these falls are likely to provide some relief, they may not be sufficient to extinguish the fires and may be patchy due to the nature of storm events. Due to the preceding hot and dry conditions, bushfires, and low ground cover, heavy storm related rainfall events are likely to have increased runoff, lowering the benefit to soil moisture levels, and increasing erosion risk.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 25 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland, with heavier falls of between 25 and 100 millimetres expected across north-eastern New South Wales. Lighter falls of between 5 and 15 millimetres are expected across the remaining summer cropping regions in north-western New South Wales and south-western Queensland during the next 8 days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 16 to 23 January 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: 16/01/2020

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 – 16 January 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 15-Jan US$/A$ 0.69 0.69 0% 0.72 -4%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 14-Jan US$/t 238 235 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 239 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 15-Jan US$/t 172 171 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 166 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg 26-Nov US$/t 423 423 0% 423 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 16-Jan USc/lb 79.6 78.4 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 82.3 -3%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 16-Jan USc/lb 13.9 13.5 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 13.0 7%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 19-Dec Ac/kg clean 1,558 1,503 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 1,862 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 20-Dec Ac/kg clean 1,671 1,614 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,031 -18%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 14-Jan A$/t 331 320 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 367 -10%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 442 447 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 455 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 385 382 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 438 -12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/t 467 477 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 432 8%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 12-Dec Ac/kg cwt 496 500 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 527 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 13-Dec Ac/kg cwt 602 614 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 404 49%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 12-Dec Ac/kg cwt 709 694 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 663 7%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 13-Dec Ac/kg cwt 455 421 8%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 317 44%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) 13-Jan Ac/kg cwt 816 816 0% 580 41%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 11-Jan Ac/kg lwt 330 330 0% 325 2%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-Jan US$/t 3,150 3,099 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,705 16%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 07-Jan US$/t 3,026 2,867 6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,201 37%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 07-Jan US$/t 4,015 3,869 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,371 19%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 07-Jan US$/t 4,929 4,866 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 5,137 -4%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: 16 January 2020
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