Weekly update - 23 April 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • Despite the low rainfall totals this week, rainfall during the first two weeks of April has consolidated the early autumn break recorded across most cropping regions in New South Wales and Victoria during March.
  • Above average temperatures across northern Australia are indicative of an early end to the wet season.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, however it is expected to approach or exceed negative IOD thresholds from mid-winter. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter and spring. It is important to note that ENSO and IOD modelling accuracy is low at this time of year.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall during late autumn and early winter (May and July 2020) will be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production in many areas where soil moisture is close to average (or higher) for this time of year following an early autumn break. In New South Wales, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres during May and July 2020.
  • Over the next eight days, high pressure systems persisting over Australia are expected to restrict rainfall to parts of south-eastern Australia and isolated parts of north-eastern Queensland. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of south-eastern New South Wales, and much of Victoria and South Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 15 April 2020 and 22 April 2020 by 31 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 8,399 GL which represents 33 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke increased from $397 per ML on 16 April 2020 to $420 per ML on 23 April 2020. Price gaps between catchments above and below the Barmah Choke, and the Goulburn-Broken and other regions continue as a result of binding Barmah Choke and Goulburn intervalley trade limits.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 22 April 2020 rainfall was restricted to parts of north-eastern and far southern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of northern and eastern Queensland, south-western Western Australia, eastern Tasmania and isolated parts of southern Victoria and the north of the Northern Territory. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across isolated areas of north-eastern Queensland and western Tasmania.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of Queensland and southern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and remaining regions in Queensland and Western Australia during the week ending 22 April 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 22 April 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/04/2020

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/

Consolidated autumn break for eastern Australia

Despite the low rainfall totals this week, rainfall during the first two weeks of April has consolidated the early autumn break recorded across most cropping regions in New South Wales and Victoria during March. These falls have continued to improve soil moisture profiles and allowed an early start to winter crop planting in many areas.

Areas that have received at least 25 millimetres of follow-up rainfall from 1 April to 15 April 2020

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Source: Bureau of Meteorology, ABARES
Note: The autumn break generally applies to the southern pasture and cropping areas mainly in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania — and occasionally parts of southern Queensland. Areas that are not typically influenced by the autumn break have been shaded out.

A consolidated early autumn break can increase the length of the growing season, potentially improving production and yield. It also reduces the risk of a ‘false’ break, where a dry period and low soil moisture following the early break can cause plants to die after germination, reducing the seed bank left available for the winter growing season and lowering potential production.

The definition of the autumn break in southern Australia varies. Pook et al. (2009) suggested an ideal break for north-western Victoria occurs during March–June when a mean fall of 25 millimetres or more is recorded over a period of 3 days or less, or when a mean fall of 30 millimetres or more is recorded over a period of 7 days or less.

ABARES has adapted the Pook et al. (2009) autumn break definition—falls of 25 millimetres or more recorded within any 3-day period from 1 to 31 March—to identify where the autumn break threshold has been achieved across southern Australia. ABARES analysis of daily rainfall data sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology indicates that the autumn break had been achieved across much of New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland, central Victoria, the far south-west of Western Australia and eastern Tasmania.

Areas that have achieved 25 millimetres in any 3‐day period from 1 to 31 March 2020

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Source: Bureau of Meteorology, ABARES
Note: The autumn break generally applies to the southern pasture and cropping areas mainly in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania — and occasionally parts of southern Queensland. Areas that are not typically influenced by the autumn break have been shaded out.

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 21 April  2020, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 8°C above average across much of northern Australia and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 10°C above average across parts of western Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

These above average temperatures across northern Australia are indicative of an early end to the wet season. Across northern Australia, recent temperature anomalies broadly reflected the rainfall pattern. Cooler temperatures were associated with areas that had above average rain and the drier regions had higher than normal temperatures during March and April.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 21 April 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/04/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 21 April 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 22/04/2020

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: http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/temp/index.jsp.

National Climate Outlook

The rainfall outlooks presented here show the rainfall amounts which have a 75% chance of occurring during the next month and the next three month period. The temperature outlooks presented here show how far above or below the 1990-2012 average the temperature is likely to be. These climate outlooks are generated by ACCESS–S (Australian Community Climate Earth-System Simulator–Seasonal). ACCESS–S is the Bureau of Meteorology's dynamical (physics-based) weather and climate model used for monthly, seasonal and longer-lead climate outlooks.

For further information, go to http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/about/

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is currently neutral and expected to remain neutral through winter. Similarly, the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral, however it is expected to approach or exceed negative IOD thresholds from mid-winter. A negative IOD typically brings above average rainfall to southern Australia during winter and spring. It is important to note that ENSO and IOD modelling accuracy is low at this time of year. Additionally, warmer than average temperatures in the eastern Indian Ocean are increasing the likelihood of northwest cloudbands interacting with troughs and fronts and bearing rain over Australia during late autumn and early winter.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests above average rainfall is very likely for most of Australia during May 2020, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier May across parts of north-eastern Australia and the eastern coastline and Tasmania. Similarly, the rainfall outlook for May to July 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are very likely for most of Australia, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across parts of north-eastern Australia, the south-eastern coastline and southern Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 16 April 2019).

There is a high chance that rainfall during autumn and winter will be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production in many areas where soil moisture is close to average (or higher) for this time of year following an early autumn break.

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall May to July 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/04/2020

The outlook for May 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across parts south-eastern and south-western Australia, and isolated parts of northern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of the Queensland coastline, eastern Victoria, far south-western Australia and much of Tasmania.

In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 25 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and parts of southern Queensland. There is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 50 millimetres in cropping regions across parts of eastern New South Wales, central South Australia, and the west and south of Western Australia for May 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring May 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/04/2020

The outlook for May and July 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 100 millimetres across much of south-western and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimetres are likely across parts of far south-western Australia, south-eastern Australia and much of Tasmania.

In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across New South Wales, southern Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in northern Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres between May and July 2020.

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring May to July 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/04/2020

The temperature outlook for May to July 2020 indicates that daytime temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average across parts of northern Australia. Night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 3°C above average across northern and central Australia. Average (- 1°C to 1°C) daytime and night-time temperatures are likely for the remainder of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 16 April 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for May to July 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/04/2020

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for May to July 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 16/04/2020

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

High pressure systems persisting over Australia are expected to restrict rainfall during the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern Australia and isolated parts of north-eastern Queensland. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across western Tasmania.

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

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 23 April 2020 to 30 April 2020

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©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 23/04/2020

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 – 23 April 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 22-Apr US$/A$ 0.63 0.63 0% 0.71 -11%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 21-Apr US$/t 233 235 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 212 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 22-Apr US$/t 147 154 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 160 -8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 22-Apr US$/t 348 355 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 352 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 23-Apr USc/lb 63.2 63.7 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 87.7 -28%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 23-Apr USc/lb 10.2 10.3 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 12.6 -19%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 16-Apr Ac/kg clean 1,292 1,301 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,943 -34%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 16-Apr Ac/kg clean 1,370 1,384 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,064 -34%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 03-Mar A$/t 351 358 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 289 21%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 458 448 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 415 10%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 372 366 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 396 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 31-Mar A$/t 404 394 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 432 -6%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 10-Apr Ac/kg cwt 379 399 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 342 11%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) 20-Apr Ac/kg cwt 880 880 0% 636 38%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 18-Apr Ac/kg lwt 260 350 -26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 280 -7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease 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 21-Apr US$/t 2,707 2,820 -4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,269 -17%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 21-Apr US$/t 2,380 2,514 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,462 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 21-Apr US$/t 4,480 4,395 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 4,319 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 21-Apr US$/t 4,083 4,345 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 6,126 -33%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


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

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Last reviewed: 23 April 2020
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