Weekly update - 19 November 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 18 November troughs and cold fronts generated showers and thunderstorm activity across parts of eastern, northern and south-western Australia.
  • Limited rainfall during the week was likely beneficial as the winter crop harvest wraps up in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales and as harvest ramps up across southern Australia.
  • Global crop production conditions continue to be favourable despite mixed climatic conditions across parts of the European Union, Ukraine, China, the United States, Argentina, Australia and the south of the Russian Federation.
  • The global climate outlook indicates that average to above average rainfall is more likely between December 2020 and February 2021 for most of the world's major grain- and oilseed-producing regions. However, largely due to the influence of La Niña, below average rainfall is expected for the southern United States, central Russia, southern Brazil and much of Argentina. Following recent dry conditions in Brazil and Argentina, if realised, this is likely to adversely affect the development of wheat, corn, cotton, soybeans, sorghum, sunflower, rice, nuts and millet.
  • Over the next eight days, troughs and low pressure systems are expected to bring thunderstorms and showers to parts of northern, eastern, central-western Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of eastern and southern New South Wales, eastern Queensland, southern Victoria and central South Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased by 58 gigalitres (GL) between 11 November 2020 and 18 November 2020. The current volume of water held in storage is 15,491 GL, which represents 61% of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke increased from $200 per ML to $240 per ML between 12 November 2020 and 19 November 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 18 November 2020 troughs and cold fronts generated showers and thunderstorm activity across parts of eastern, northern and south-western Australia.

Rainfall totals of between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded across scattered parts of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the south-west and north of Western Australia, the south and north of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of the north of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of western and southern Queensland, eastern and southern New South Wales, central Victoria, and much of the Western Australia wheat belt. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 18 November 2020.

Limited rainfall during the week was likely beneficial as the winter crop harvest wraps up in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales and as harvest ramps up across southern Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 18 November 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: 18/11/2020

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 phenological stages, and extreme weather events (IPCC 2012). Some crops are more tolerant than others to certain types of stresses, and at each phenological stage, different types of stresses affect each crop species 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.

October rainfall percentiles and current production conditions

As of the end of October 2020, rainfall was mixed for the world’s major grain and oil producing regions.

In the Northern Hemisphere, October rainfall was above average in the United Kingdom and parts of eastern and far western Europe, the south-east and north-west of the United States, south-western Canada, central, northern and eastern Russia, central China, southern India and northern Southeast Asia. Rainfall was below average across parts of south-eastern Russia, southern Kazakhstan, western and northern Canada, the south-west of the United States and Mexico. Rainfall was generally average across the remainder of major grain and oil producing regions in the northern hemisphere.

In the southern hemisphere, October rainfall was generally above average across south-eastern Australia and below average across central and southern Brazil, southern Argentina and south-western Australia. Rainfall was generally average across the remainder of major grain and oil producing regions in the southern hemisphere.

Global precipitation percentiles, October 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 July, 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 July 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 October 2020 global production conditions were mixed.

In the southern hemisphere, conditions for wheat crops were mixed in Australia. Conditions were favourable in Victoria and South Australia and exceptional in New South Wales but prolonged dryness in Queensland and Western Australia decreased winter crop yields. As a result, production is expected to be average to above average. Similarly, in Argentina conditions were favourable in Buenos Aires and La Pampa but prolonged dryness damaged many crops in remaining provinces.

Conditions were similarly mixed in the northern hemisphere. Dryness has impacted the sowing of winter wheat in parts of the European Union, Ukraine, China and the United States. Harvest of spring wheat was wrapping up under favourable conditions in Canada and the Russian Federation.

Global maize production is expected to reach record levels in 2020–21. Growing conditions for maize were generally favourable for harvest in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, India and the European Union, with the exception of drought impacted crops in parts of eastern and western Europe. Conditions were mixed for harvest in Ukraine and the Russian Federation due to drought. Conditions were favourable for spring-planted crop development in Brazil and sowing in Argentina.

Growing conditions were generally favourable for wet-season rice in Thailand and the Philippines. Conditions for harvesting were generally favourable for single-season and late-season rice in China, Kharif rice in India and wet-season rice in Vietnam. In Indonesia, there were generally favourable conditions for ongoing harvest of dry-season rice and sowing of wet-season rice. Harvesting in Japan and the United states was wrapping up under generally favourable conditions.

Global soybean production is expected to reach a record level in 2020–21. Conditions were generally favourable for soybeans as harvest continued in Canada, India and Ukraine, and as harvest wrapped up in the United States and China. Sowing in Brazil and Argentina progressed under favourable conditions. In Australia, growing conditions have been favourable for canola, with some quality concern for crops that had been windrowed prior to substantial rainfall. Australian production expectations.

Crop conditions, AMIS countries, 28 October 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 December and February
Region December-February rainfall outlook  Potential impact on production
Canada Above average rainfall is more likely for much of south-western Canada and parts of south-eastern Canada between December 2020 and February 2021. Winter wheat is dormant in Canada between December 2020 and February 2021.
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 December 2020 and February 2021. Winter wheat and canola are dormant in the United States between December 2020 and February 2021. An outlook for further dry condition could reduce snow cover insulation and damage crops during dormancy in the United States.
Brazil Above average rainfall is more likely across much of the northern half of Brazil and below average rainfall is more likely across parts of southern Brazil between December 2020 and February 2021. Below average rainfall in parts of southern Brazil may adversely affect the development of corn, soybeans, cotton and nuts, rice, sorghum, millet and sunflower. Generally average to above average rainfall in the central-west is likely to support soybean development and corn and cotton planting and development from January.
Argentina Below average rainfall is more likely for parts of the north-east, central and south of Argentina between December 2020 and February 2021. Below average rainfall may adversely affect the development of corn, cotton, soybeans, sunflower, rice, sorghum and millet between December 2020 and February 2021.
Europe Average rainfall more likely for most of Europe between December 2020 and February 2021. Winter wheat and canola are dormant in Europe between December 2020 and February 2021.
South Asia (India) Average rainfall is more likely across much of India, with above average rainfall more likely across parts of southern and northern India and below average rainfall more likely across small parts of central and eastern India.   Average or better rainfall is likely to support wheat and canola development between December 2020 and February 2021.
Southeast Asia (SEA) Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of eastern Indonesia, the Philippines, eastern Thailand and northern Myanmar and below average rainfall is more likely for parts of western and central Indonesia and northern Vietnam. Average or better rainfall across most of Southeast Asia is likely to benefit corn and rice planting and development, as well as soybean planting in Indonesia. Below average rainfall in parts of Indonesia and Vietnam may adversely impact rice, corn and soybean planting and development.
Black Sea Region Ukraine - Average rainfall is more likely across Ukraine.
Kazakhstan - Average rainfall is more likely across most of Kazakhstan.
Russia - Below average rainfall more likely for parts of central and south-western Russia and above average rainfall is more likely for parts northern and eastern Russia.
Winter wheat and canola are dormant in the Black Sea Region between December 2020 and February 2021. An outlook for further dry condition could reduce snow cover insulation and damage crops during dormancy in the Russian Federation.
China Below average rainfall is more likely across parts of western and central China and above average rainfall is more likely across parts of north-eastern, north-western and southern China. Winter wheat and canola are dormant in China between December 2020 and February 2021.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Troughs and low pressure systems are expected to generate thunderstorms and showers over northern, eastern and central-western Australia during the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern New South Wales, eastern and northern Queensland, south-eastern South Australia, the north of Western Australia, the north-west of the Northern Territory and much of Victoria and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 25 millimetres is expected across parts of the north of Western Australia and the north-west of the Northern Territory.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of eastern and southern New South Wales, eastern Queensland, southern Victoria and central South Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 19 November to 26 November 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: 19/11/2020

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

Information on weekly price changes in agricultural commodities is now available at the Weekly commodity price update.

Water

Water storages, water markets and water allocations - current week

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Last reviewed: 19 November 2020
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