Weekly update - 20 August 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 19 August 2020, complex low-pressure systems and associated cold fronts developed, bringing moderate rainfall and strong winds to parts of southern Australia. These patchy but moderate falls will be particularly beneficial for cropping regions in parts of southern Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia that have generally recorded average or lower winter rainfall to‑date. The falls will provide a boost to soil moisture and stabilising crop yield potential and pasture growth rates.
  • Global crop production conditions continue to be largely favourable, with the exception of mixed conditions across parts of the European Union, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Argentina, Vietnam, China and south of the Russian Federation.
  • July rainfall percentiles and current production conditions indicate marginal improvement from global conditions seen during May, which were used to formulate ABARES forecasts of global grain supplies and the impact on world prices in its June 2020 edition of Agricultural commodities.
  • The global climate outlook indicates that average to above average rainfall is more likely between September and November 2020 for most of the world's major grain- and oilseed-producing regions. If realised, this is likely to benefit corn, soybeans, sunflower, millet, rice, sorghum, groundnuts and cotton production and wheat and rapeseed planting in the northern hemisphere, and winter wheat and canola (rapeseed) production and corn, cotton, soybeans, sunflower planting in Australia.
  • Over the next eight days, a low-pressure system is expected to bring rainfall to parts of south-eastern Australia, with persistent high-pressure systems expected to prevent further rain bearing systems from moving over much of Australia during the remainder of the week. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of south-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria and much of South Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 12 August 2020 and 19 August 2020 by 286 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 12,908 GL which represents 51 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke remained steady at $310 per ML from 13 August 2020 to 20 August 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 restriction of downstream trade below the Barmah Choke to 0.1 GL.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 19 August 2020 complex low-pressure systems and associated cold fronts developed, bringing moderate rainfall and strong winds to parts of southern Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of central, northern and south-eastern New South Wales, southern Queensland, south-eastern South Australia, south-western Western Australia and much of southern Victoria and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of northern and eastern Tasmania and isolated parts of south-eastern New South Wales and eastern Victoria.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of central, south-eastern and north-eastern New South Wales, south-eastern Queensland, southern Victoria, central South Australia and Western Australia, excluding parts of the central wheat belt. Lower rainfall totals between 1 and 10 millimetres were recorded across cropping regions in central and southern Queensland and the remainder of northern and south-western, northern Victoria, western and eastern South Australia and central Western Australia during the week ending 19 August 2020.

These moderate but patchy falls will be particularly beneficial for cropping regions in parts of southern Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia that have generally recorded average or lower winter rainfall to‑date. The falls will provide a boost to soil moisture and stabilising crop yield potential and pasture growth rates.

Rainfall for the week ending 19 August 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: 19/08/2020

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. The July rainfall percentiles and current production conditions presented here show a marginal improvement from global conditions seen during May, which were used to formulate ABARES forecasts of global grain supplies and the impact on world prices in its June 2020 edition of Agricultural commodities.

July rainfall percentiles and current production conditions

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

In the Northern Hemisphere, July rainfall was above average in parts of the United Kingdom, northern Europe, the central plains of the United States, northern Canada, western and central Russia, southern China, central Africa and southern India. Rainfall was generally average across the remainder of major grain and oil producing regions in the northern hemisphere.
In the southern hemisphere, July rainfall was generally below average across parts of Australia, Brazil and Argentina. Rainfall was generally average across the remainder of major grain and oil producing regions in the southern hemisphere.

Global precipitation percentiles, July 2020

global_precipitation_percentiles_july2020.png

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 July 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 were mixed in the European Union as harvest continues, the United Kingdom and Ukraine. Conditions were generally favourable for winter wheat harvesting in Turkey, winter wheat harvesting and spring wheat in Kazakhstan, Canada and the United States and spring wheat in China. Conditions were generally favourable in the Russian Federation for spring wheat and winter wheat harvest with the exception of southern regions, where winter wheat yields have been affected by drought conditions.

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

Conditions were generally favourable for harvesting of early-season rice and the growth of late-season rice in China, Thailand, Japan, Philippines and the United States. Rice transplanting in India is continuing under favourable conditions. In Vietnam conditions are mixed with reduced yields in the south due to dry conditions, while plating in the north proceeds under favourable conditions. In Indonesia the harvest of wet-season crops is wrapping up with a reduction in yields and harvested area due to a prolonged drought, while unseasonal dry season rainfall has delayed planting of dry-season crops.

Growing conditions for soybeans were generally favourable for the United States, Canada, China and India. In Ukraine conditions are generally favourable, however a lack of rainfall and low soil moisture in the central and southern regions is of some possible concern.

Crop conditions, AMIS countries, 28 July 2020

crop_monitor_202007.png

AMIS Agricultural Market Information System.
Source: AMIS

Rainfall outlook and potential impact on the future state of production conditions between September and November
Region September-November rainfall outlook  Potential impact on production
Canada Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of eastern and southern Canada between September and November 2020.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit corn, soybeans and sunflower grain filling and maturing through September and October. 
United States Above average rainfall is more likely for parts of north-western and south-eastern US and below average rainfall is more likely for much of the central-west US.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit the filling and maturing of soybeans, sunflower, millet, cotton, rice, corn, sorghum and groundnuts in September leading up to harvest in October and November. 
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 September and November 2020.  Above average rainfall in parts of central and southern Brazil is likely to benefit wheat filling leading up to harvest in October, as well as corn and soybean planting and development in September and October, and the planting of groundnuts, sorghum, cotton, sunflower, rice and millet in November. 
Argentina Below average rainfall is more likely for parts of the north-east and south-west of Argentina between September and November 2020.   Below average rainfall is likely to adversely affect the heading and filling of wheat and planting of corn, cotton and soybeans through September and October. These conditions may also impact early corn silking, and the planting of soybeans, sunflower, rice, sorghum and millet in November. 
Europe Below average rainfall more likely for parts of southern and eastern Europe between September and November 2020.  Below average rainfall may adversely impact the development and harvest of corn, cotton and sorghum in southern Europe. Below average rainfall may also impact winter wheat and rapeseed planting in parts of southern and eastern Europe during October and November.  
South Asia (India) Above average rainfall is likely across north-western and central India and below average is likely across isolated parts of the north-east and south-east.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to benefit cotton blooming in the south during September and corn, sorghum, rice, millet, groundnuts and sunflower filling in September leading up to harvest in October and November, and winter wheat and rapeseed planting in November. 
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 maturing during September leading up to harvest in October. 
Black Sea Region Ukraine - Below average rainfall is likely across the south-east.
Kazakhstan - Above average rainfall is likely across parts of the central-east and below average is likely across parts of the south.
Russia - Above rainfall more likely for much of northern and eastern Russia.
Above average rainfall is likely to support spring wheat harvesting in the north-east of Russia. Average rainfall across most southern regions is likely to support early cotton harvesting and winter wheat and rapeseed planting in September, and corn and sunflower filling in September and October.
China Above average rainfall is more likely across parts of northern China and below average rainfall is more likely across parts of southern China between September and November 2020.   Average to above average rainfall is likely to support the development and harvest of cotton, rice, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, groundnuts and spring wheat. Additionally, average to above average rainfall is likely to support late rice heading in September and planting of winter wheat and rapeseed in October. 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

A low-pressure system is expected to bring rainfall to parts of south-eastern Australia, with persistent high-pressure systems expected to prevent further rain bearing systems from moving over much of Australia during the remainder of the week. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria, south-eastern South Australia and much of Tasmania.

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

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 20 August 2020 to 27 August 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: 20/08/2020

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 August 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 19-Aug US$/A$ 0.72 0.72 1% 0.67 7% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 19-Aug US$/t 223 217 3% 201 11% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 19-Aug US$/t 150 145 3% 157 -4% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 19-Aug US$/t 367 384 -4% 356 3% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 15-Jul USc/lb 69 70 -1% 75 -8% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 19-Aug USc/lb 13 13 1% 11 14% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 19-Aug Ac/kg clean 945 1,004 -6% 1,766 -46% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 19-Aug Ac/kg clean 989 1,046 -5% 2,093 -53% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 19-Aug A$/t 317 324 1% 345 -7% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 19-Aug A$/t 303 309 0% 338 -10% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 19-Aug A$/t 266 272 0% 320 -17% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 19-Aug A$/t 624 631 1% 647 -3% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 19-Aug A$/t 360 356 0% 394 -8% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 19-Aug Ac/kg cwt 765 760 1% 461 66% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 12-Aug Ac/kg cwt 499 502 -1% 550 -9% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 12-Aug Ac/kg cwt 683 703 -3% 729 -6% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 05-Aug Ac/kg cwt 309 299 3% 350 -12% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 12-Aug Ac/kg cwt 753 753 0% 935 -19% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 12-Aug Ac/kg lwt 355 355 0% 290 22% 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 19-Aug US$/t 2,936 3,003 -2% 2,905 1% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 19-Aug US$/t 2,608 2,583 1% 1,913 36% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 19-Aug US$/t 3,442 3,568 -4% 3,713 -7% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 19-Aug US$/t 3,873 3,994 -3% 5,937 -35% 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: 20 August 2020
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