Weekly update - 20 February 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 19 February 2020 rainfall was primarily recorded across parts of northern and eastern Australia. These showers and thunderstorms were generated by several persistent low pressure troughs drawing in humid air from the northern and east of Australia.
  • In Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of Queensland and heavier falls of between 25 and 100 millimetres were recorded across much of northern New South Wales during the week ending 19 January 2020.
  • While the rainfall in cropping regions will support summer crops and provide a good base for winter cropping, several months of above average rainfall would be needed to provide a sustained recovery from current long-term deficiencies that persist across large areas of Australia.
  • The northern rainfall onset has occurred across much of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. In most areas where the northern rainfall onset has occurred, it has arrived more than a month later than the long-term average onset date.
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 25 and 100 millimetres are forecast for areas of northern and north-eastern Australia. A tropical low pressure system in the Gulf of Carpentaria has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone over the week and is expected to bring rainfall totals in excess of 150 millimetres to far northern Queensland and north of the Northern Territory.
  • Across summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Heavier falls in excess of 50 millimetres are expected across parts of central Queensland cropping region during the next 8 days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 12 February 2020 and 19 February 2020 by 134 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 7,914 GL which represents 31 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah Choke increased from $530 per ML on 13 February 2020 to $635 per ML on 20 February 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 19 February 2020 rainfall was primarily recorded across parts of northern and eastern Australia. These showers and thunderstorms were generated by several persistent low pressure troughs drawing in humid air from the northern and east of Australia.

In Australia’s summer cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of Queensland and heavier falls of between 25 and 100 millimetres were recorded across much of northern New South Wales during the week ending 19 January 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 19 February 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: 19/2/2020

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 18 February  2020, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of northern and central Australia. Similarly, minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of south-eastern and central Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 18 February 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: 19/02/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 18 February 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: 19/02/2020

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 18 February 2020 the northern rainfall onset has occurred across much of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland. Rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres have been recorded across large areas of northern Australia, with rainfall totals greater than 400 millimetres recorded across far northern tropical Australia.

In most areas where the northern rainfall onset has occurred, it has arrived more than a month later than the long-term average onset date. 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. 

Northern rainfall totals for the period 1 September 2019 to 18 February 2020

Northern rainfall totals for the period 1 September 2019 to 18 February 2020

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

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 100 millimetres are forecast for areas of northern and north-eastern Australia. A tropical low pressure system in the Gulf of Carpentaria has the potential to develop into a tropical cyclone over the week and is expected to bring rainfall totals in excess of 150 millimetres to far northern Queensland and north of the Northern Territory. Lighter falls of between 10 and 25 millimetres are forecast for parts of northern and eastern New South Wales, eastern Victoria and the west of Western Australia.

These falls will likely support northern pasture growth and summer crops, and continue to build soil moisture across cropping regions in Queensland.

In summer cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of Queensland and northern New South Wales. Heavier falls in excess of 50 millimetres are expected across parts of central Queensland cropping region during the next 8 days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 20 February to 27 February 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: 20/02/2020

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 – 20 February 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 19-Feb US$/A$ 0.67 0.67 0% 0.71 -6%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 18-Feb US$/t 231 231 0% 235 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 19-Feb US$/t 170 171 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 172 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg 26-Nov US$/t 423 423 0% 423 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 20-Feb USc/lb 77.3 76.9 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 80.0 -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 20-Feb USc/lb 15.2 15.4 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 13.0 17%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 13-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,568 1,577 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,968 -20%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 13-Feb Ac/kg clean 1,667 1,709 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,101 -21%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 04-Feb A$/t 335 342 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 349 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 07-Jan A$/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 13-Feb Ac/kg cwt 662 623 6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 460 44%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 13-Feb Ac/kg cwt 690 629 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 393 76%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 13-Feb Ac/kg cwt 905 829 9%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 643 41%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 07-Feb Ac/kg cwt 429 429 0% 328 31%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) 17-Feb Ac/kg cwt 893 883 1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 588 52%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 15-Feb Ac/kg lwt 360 340 6%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 340 6%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 18-Feb US$/t 2,966 3,039 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,022 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 18-Feb US$/t 2,840 2,907 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,580 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 18-Feb US$/t 4,526 4,302 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 3,667 23%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 18-Feb US$/t 4,379 4,626 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 5,620 -22%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: 20 February 2020
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