Weekly update - 17 September 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 16 September 2020, troughs and cold fronts moved over southern Australia and moist onshore flow developed along the east coast of Queensland, bringing moderate rainfall to small parts of Australia. Moderate falls across parts of eastern Australia cropping regions are likely to support current yields and boost soil moisture as the winter cropping season begins to wrap up.
  • Global crop production conditions continue to be favourable, with the exception of mixed conditions persisting across parts of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Argentina, Vietnam, China and south of the Russian Federation.
  • August rainfall percentiles and current production conditions presented here were used to formulate ABARES forecasts of global grain supplies and the impact on world prices in its September 2020 edition of Agricultural commodities.
  • The global climate outlook indicates that average to above average rainfall is more likely between October and December 2020 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 of corn, soybeans, sunflower, rice and cotton in the northern hemisphere, and winter wheat and canola production and corn, cotton, soybeans, sunflower planting in Australia.
  • Over the next eight days, a complex cut-off low-pressure system is expected to bring showers and storms to much of south-eastern Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across Victoria, South Australia and much of New South Wales. These falls are likely to support favourable winter crop yields and boost soil moisture in south-eastern Australia during the final stages of winter crop development.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 8 September 2020 and 15 September 2020 by 33 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 14,055 GL which represents 56 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke decreased from $310 per ML from 10 September 2020 to $300 per ML 17 September 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 16 September 2020 troughs and cold fronts moved over southern Australia and moist onshore flow developed along the east coast of Queensland, bringing moderate rainfall to small parts of Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts north-eastern New South Wales, eastern Queensland, southern and western Victoria, western and northern Tasmania and isolated parts of south-eastern South Australia and southern Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across isolated parts of north-eastern Queensland and western Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of north-eastern New South Wales, central Queensland and south-western Victoria. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 16 September 2020.

The falls in parts of eastern cropping regions are likely to support current yields and boost soil moisture. In contrast, in regions that recorded below average rainfall during winter and have low soil moisture reserves, particularly Western Australia, these dry conditions are likely to be a concern for yield prospect and pasture production as temperatures increase.

Rainfall for the week ending 16 September 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: 16/09/2020

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. The August rainfall percentiles and current production conditions presented here were used to formulate ABARES forecasts of global grain supplies and the impact on world prices in its September 2020 edition of Agricultural commodities.

August rainfall percentiles and current production conditions

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

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

In the southern hemisphere, August rainfall was generally average across Australia and Indonesia, and below average across parts of northern Brazil and western Argentina.

Global precipitation percentiles, August 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 August, 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 August 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 August 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 variable with dryness decreasing winter wheat yields in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and southern growing regions of Ukraine and the Russian Federation. Conditions were generally favourable for winter wheat harvesting and spring wheat growth in Kazakhstan, Canada and the United States and spring wheat harvesting in China.

Growing conditions for maize were generally favourable for harvest of the autumn-winter crop and for sowing of the spring-summer crop in Mexico. Harvest of the summer-planted crop was well underway in Brazil under mainly exceptional conditions, except for in the south where dry conditions have impacted crop development. Conditions were generally favourable for the United States, Canada, the European Union and India, although there were some mixed conditions due to dryness in parts of the United States, France, Ukraine and the Russian Federation and flooding in China.

Conditions were generally favourable for wet-season rice in Thailand, Japan and the Philippines and for the growth of single-season and late-season rice in China. In the United States, conditions were also favourable. The majority of rice transplanting in India was completed under favourable conditions. In Vietnam, conditions are generally favourable as planting continues in the north and harvest continues in the south, with slightly reduced yields in the south due to dry conditions. In Indonesia, the harvest of dry-season crops is ongoing with reduced yields due to a delayed rainfall onset. At the same time, dry-season crop sowing continues due to unusually high dry-season rainfall delaying planting.

Growing conditions for soybeans were generally favourable in the United States, Canada, Ukraine, China and India for crops due to be harvested in the northern hemisphere autumn, with some mixed conditions due to dryness in the United States and Ukraine. In Australia, growing conditions have been favourable for canola.

Crop conditions, AMIS countries, 28 August 2020

amis_crops_20200828.png

AMIS Agricultural Market Information System.
Source: AMIS

Rainfall outlook and potential impact on the future state of production conditions between October and December
Region October-December rainfall outlook  Potential impact on production
Canada Above average rainfall is more likely for large parts of eastern and south-eastern Canada between October and December 2020.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit corn, soybeans and sunflower maturing leading up to harvest in November. 
United States Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of the northern US and below average rainfall is more likely for much of the central-southern US.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit winter wheat and canola development leading up to dormancy in December, below average rainfall is likely to adversely impact this development.
Brazil Above average rainfall is more likely across much of northern and central Brazil and below average rainfall is more likely across parts of southern Brazil between  October and December 2020.   Above average rainfall across much of Brazil is likely to benefit soybean planting and development in the central-west between October and December. Below average rainfall in parts of southern Brazil may adversely affect the development of corn and soybeans from October, and the planting and development of groundnuts, sorghum, cotton, sunflower, rice and millet from November.
Argentina Below average rainfall is more likely for parts of the north-east and south-west of Argentina between October and December 2020.   Below average rainfall is likely to 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 between October and December 2020.  
Europe Average rainfall more likely for most of Europe between October and December 2020.  Average rainfall is likely to support winter wheat and canola planting in October and November leading up to dormancy in December.
South Asia (India) Above average rainfall is likely across parts of north-western and central India and below average rainfall is likely across isolated parts of the north-east and south-east.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit winter wheat and canola planting and development from November. Generally average rainfall in the south is likely to support cotton development leading up to harvest in December.
Southeast Asia (SEA) Above average rainfall is likely for much of SEA, with a strong likelihood of above average rainfall for Indonesia. Above average rainfall in SEA is likely to support corn and rice yields as harvest beings in October. 
Black Sea Region Ukraine - Below average rainfall is likely across central Ukraine.
Kazakhstan - Below average rainfall is likely across the south.
Russia - Above rainfall more likely for parts of northern and eastern Russia and below average for parts of south-eastern Russia.
Below average rainfall in the south is likely to adversely impact the filling of cotton in Central Asia, and corn and sunflower in October, as well as winter wheat and rapeseed development leading into dormancy in November.
China Above average rainfall is more likely across parts of northern and central China and below average rainfall is more likely across parts of southern China between October and December 2020. Above average rainfall in the north is likely to support the filling and maturing of late rice and the development of winter wheat and canola leading into dormancy in December. Below average rainfall in parts of southern China may adversely impact the development of these crops.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

A complex cut-off low-pressure system is expected to bring showers and storms to much of south-eastern Australia during the week. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, and parts of south-western and north-eastern Queensland and far south of Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected across western Tasmania and isolated parts of mainland alpine areas.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across Victoria, South Australia and much of New South Wales. Rainfall totals of between 5 and 10 millimetres are expected across cropping regions in northern New South Wales, southern Queensland and far south‑western and southern Western Australia during the next eight days.

These falls are likely to support favourable winter crop yields and boost soil moisture in south-eastern Australia during the final stages of winter crop development.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 17 September 2020 to 24 September 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: 17/09/2020

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 – 17 September 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 16-Sep US$/A$ 0.73 0.73 1% 0.68 8% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 16-Sep US$/t 246 244 1% 206 19% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 19-Aug US$/t 150 145 3% 157 -4% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 16-Sep US$/t 378 401 -6% 361 5% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 16-Sep USc/lb 71 70 0% 71 -1% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 16-Sep USc/lb 12 12 -2% 11 5% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 09-Sep Ac/kg clean 890 858 4% 1,754 -49% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 09-Sep Ac/kg clean 922 895 3% 1,995 -54% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 16-Sep A$/t 328 328 0% 368 -11% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 16-Sep A$/t 313 313 0% 356 -12% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 16-Sep A$/t 270 266 1% 335 -19% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 16-Sep A$/t 643 640 0% 659 -2% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 16-Sep A$/t 345 353 -2% 426 -19% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 16-Sep Ac/kg cwt 762 767 -1% 488 56% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 09-Sep Ac/kg cwt 512 549 -7% 605 -15% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 09-Sep Ac/kg cwt 680 682 0% 831 -18% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 02-Sep Ac/kg cwt 318 318 0% 357 -11% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 09-Sep Ac/kg cwt 843 843 0% 902 -7% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 09-Sep Ac/kg lwt 355 355 0% 310 15% 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 16-Sep US$/t 2,985 2,884 4% 2,958 1% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 16-Sep US$/t 2,889 2,663 8% 1,972 47% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 16-Sep US$/t 3,674 3,428 7% 3,663 0% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 16-Sep US$/t 3,910 3,852 2% 5,709 -32% 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

The Tableau dashboard may not meet accessibility requirements. For information about the contents of these dashboards contact ABARES.

 
Last reviewed: 17 September 2020
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