Weekly update - 21 May 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • May rainfall continues to be variable and patchy across winter cropping regions, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia. While these conditions are not uncommon for this time of year in Western Australia, they pose a greater risk in Queensland where winter crop production is more reliant on stored soil moisture than in-crop rainfall.
  • Widespread above average rainfall during the remainder of May and through to July will be needed to replenish soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage further plantings in Queensland and Western Australia.
  • As at 28 April 2020 analysis released by the Agricultural Market Information System indicates that global grain and oilseed production conditions are generally favourable, despite some dryness in the European Union, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and some equatorial regions, and excess moisture across parts of the United States.
  • Global climate outlooks indicate that average to above average rainfall is more likely between June and August 2020 for most of the world’s major grain and oilseed producing regions. If these average to above average rainfall totals eventuate as forecast they are likely to benefit spring wheat and canola (rapeseed), cotton, rice, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower and millet production in the Northern Hemisphere, and winter wheat and canola production in most Southern Hemisphere growing regions.
  • Over the next eight days, a series of low pressure systems are expected to bring moderate rainfall to parts of western and eastern Australia. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of eastern New South Wales, northern and south-eastern Queensland, eastern Victoria and much of Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected in cropping regions across parts of the west of Western Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 13 May 2020 and 20 May 2020 by 155 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 9,510 GL which represents 38 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $310 per ML on 14 May 2020 to $200 per ML on 21 May 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 20 May 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to scattered areas of eastern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, central and eastern Queensland, much of southern Victoria and western Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across an isolated part of north-eastern Queensland.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 15 millimetres were recorded across much of southern Victoria, and isolated parts of central New South Wales and western and northern Queensland. Little to no rainfall was recorded across South Australia, Western Australia and remaining regions of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria during the week ending 20 May 2020.

May rainfall continues to be variable and patchy across winter cropping regions, particularly in Queensland and Western Australia. While these conditions are not uncommon for this time of year in Western Australia, they pose a greater risk in Queensland where winter crop production is more reliant on stored soil moisture than in-crop rainfall. Widespread above average rainfall during the remainder of May and through to July will be needed to replenish soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage further plantings in Queensland and Western Australia.

Rainfall for the week ending 20 May 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: 20/05/2020

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 highly sensitive to climate. It 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.

February to April rainfall anomalies and current production conditions

Precipitation during the period February to April has a tendency to influence summer crop development and yield prospects across the Southern Hemisphere. While in the Northern Hemisphere February to April precipitation influences the development and yield prospects of winter wheat, and planting intentions and opportunities for spring wheat and rapeseed, and summer crops such as corn, cotton, rice, sunflowers and sorghum.

At the end of April, precipitation over the past 3 months was variable for the world’s major grain and oilseed producing regions.

In the Northern Hemisphere, February to April 2020 precipitation totals were generally below the 1979-2000 average across parts of the European Union (EU) and Ukraine, and in parts of the United States (US) western plains. In contrast, it was above average across the south-west of the US, parts of western Russia, India and west Asia.

In the Southern Hemisphere, February to April 2020 precipitation totals was general below the 1979-2000 average in southern Brazil and Central America.  In contrast, it was above average across, parts of south-eastern Australia.

Precipitation anomalies for the period February to April 2020

global-precipitation-anomalies-feb-to-april.png

Source: International Research Institute for Climate and Society
Note: 3-month seasonal precipitation anomalies for the globe in units of mm/season based upon precipitation estimates from the NOAA Climate Prediction Center's Climate Anomaly Monitoring System Outgoing longwave radiation Precipitation Index dataset. Precipitation estimates for February to April 2020 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the 1979-2000 base period. For further information, go to https://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/Global/Precipitation/Seasonal.html

As at 28 April 2020 analysis released by the Agricultural Market Information System indicates that global production conditions are generally favourable, despite some dryness in the EU, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine and some equatorial regions, and excess moisture across parts of the US.

In the southern hemisphere, conditions for wheat sowing are generally favourable. In the northern hemisphere, there are mixed conditions for wheat crop development in the EU following a very dry start to spring. Spring wheat sowing is somewhat delayed due to wet and cold conditions in the upper Great Plains in the US.

Growing conditions for maize are generally favourable for crop development in India and Mexico, and for sowing in the US and the EU. In the southern hemisphere, conditions are mixed in Brazil where the harvest of the spring-planted (smaller season) crop is wrapping up with a lack of rainfall in the south reducing yields. Yields have also been affected by dryness across parts of Argentina.

Growing conditions are favourable for rice in India and China. Harvesting is ongoing under mixed conditions for dry-season rice in northern countries of Southeast Asia, with below average yield expected in Thailand and the Philippines due to insufficient irrigation water and hot weather, and for wet-season rice in Indonesia due to prolonged drought conditions.

Growing conditions for soybeans are generally favourable in the Southern Hemisphere as harvesting wraps up in Brazil, despite some persistent dry conditions reducing yield in the south, and conditions are favourable for ongoing harvesting in Argentina. In the Northern Hemisphere conditions are generally favourable for sowing in the US and Ukraine, although low soil moisture is of some concern in the south of Ukraine.

Crop conditions, AMIS countries, 28 April 2020

crop-monitor-all-20200428.png

AMIS Agricultural Market Information System.
Source: AMIS

Rainfall outlook and potential impact on future the state of production conditions between June and August

Region June-Aug rainfall outlook Potential impact on production
Canada Above average rainfall is slightly more likely for parts of the Canadian Prairies, with no strong tendency towards either above or below average rainfall for the remainder of the country. Above average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to benefit: corn soybean and sunflower planting during June; spring wheat and canola (rapeseed) flowering during July; and corn, soybean and sunflower flowering during August.
United States Above average rainfall is slightly more likely for much of eastern US, below average rainfall slightly more likely in part of north-west US. Above average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to benefit: spring wheat and rapeseed heading during June; cotton, rice, corn, sorghum and groundnut flowering during July; and soybean, sunflower and millet flowering during August.
Brazil Below average rainfall is more likely for much of the south. Below average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to adversely affect wheat planting and establishment.
Argentina Below average rainfall is more likely between June and August 2020. Below average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to adversely affect wheat planting and establishment.
Europe No strong tendency towards either above or below average rainfall between June and August 2020. Spring wheat heading in northern Europe and corn and cotton flowering in southern Europe would benefit from average rainfall during June following a very dry start to spring.
Corn, soybean and sunflower flowering in the northern Europe and Sorghum flowering in the south Europe would benefit from average rainfall during July.
South Asia (India) Above average rainfall likely across India between June and August 2020. Above average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to benefit corn, sorghum, rice, millet, groundnut and sunflower production over the next 3-months.
Southeast Asia (SEA) Above average rainfall for much of southern SEA and below average rainfall for most of western Mainland SEA and the Philippines between June and August 2020. Above average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to benefit corn and rice production in southern SEA, but below average rainfall for most of western Mainland SEA and the Philippines is likely to adversely affect corn and rice production.
Black Sea Region Ukraine and Russia - No strong tendency towards either above or below average rainfall between June and August 2020.
Kazakhstan - Below average rainfall more likely in the north-east between June and August 2020.
Average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to support winter wheat, spring barley and wheat, and corn production in Ukraine and Russia; while below average rainfall may adversely affect spring barley and wheat production in Kazakhstan.
China No strong tendency towards either above or below average rainfall for most of China between June and August 2020. Average rainfall between June and August 2020 is likely to support spring wheat flowering during June and cotton, rice, corn, sorghum, soybean, sunflower and groundnut flowering during July.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

A series of low pressure systems are expected to bring moderate rainfall to parts of western and eastern Australia over the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern Australia, north-eastern Queensland and the Western Australia coastline. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across isolated coastal areas of north-eastern Queensland and eastern New South Wales.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of eastern New South Wales, northern and south-eastern Queensland, eastern Victoria and much of Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres is expected in cropping regions across parts of the west of Western Australia. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 21 May 2020 to 28 May 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: 21/05/2020

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 – 21 May 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 20-May US$/A$ 0.65 0.65 0% 0.69 -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 12-May US$/t 229 231 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 199 15%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 20-May US$/t 144 143 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 173 -17%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 20-May US$/t 362 360 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 353 -3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 21-May USc/lb 66.5 64.9 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 77.6 -14%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 21-May USc/lb 10.5 10.2 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 11.7 -10%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 07-May Ac/kg clean 1,170 1,225 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,952 -40%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 21-May Ac/kg clean 1,246 1,246 0% 1,995 -38%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 05-May A$/t 390 420 -7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 273 43%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 05-May A$/t 433 448 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 386 12%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 05-May A$/t 360 363 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 379 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 05-May A$/t 420 424 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 432 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator b 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 742 766 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 441 68%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 b 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 718 761 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 411 75%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 b 19-Mar Ac/kg cwt 941 960 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 647 45%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 08-May Ac/kg cwt 337 339 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 338 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 18-May Ac/kg cwt 790 790 0% 798 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 16-May Ac/kg lwt 300 300 0% 290 3%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 19-May US$/t 2,677 2,745 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,180 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 19-May US$/t 2,549 2,373 7%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 2,529 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 19-May US$/t 3,864 4,115 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 4,851 -20%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 19-May US$/t 4,079 3,973 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 6,140 -34%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.
b Note that several indicator price series for livestock are temporarily suspended. More information and temporary replacement series can be found at https://www.mla.com.au/prices-markets/market-news/changes-to-mlas-market-reporting/

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: 21 May 2020
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