Weekly update - 26 March 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 25 March 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to parts of northern, western and southern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 50 millimetres was recorded across scattered areas of Queensland, south-western South Australia, the south and inland west of Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of northern Queensland and the far north of the Northern Territory.
  • In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of western South Australia and parts of northern and eastern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and remaining regions in South Australia and Western Australia during the week ending 25 March 2020.
  • The outlook for April and June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 100 millimetres across parts of far northern Australia and much of south-western and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimetres are likely across parts of the south-western and south-eastern coasts and much of Tasmania.
  • In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 100 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia between April and June 2020. Across cropping regions in Queensland, there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 100 millimetres between April and June 2020
  • Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern and northern Australia. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for isolated parts of north-eastern New South Wales, northern Queensland and north of the Northern Territory.
  • Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales, and parts of southern Queensland and eastern Victoria. If these falls eventuate as forecast they are likely to be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture growth initiated by the early March rainfall despite the above average maximum temperatures recorded during the week ending 24 March 2020. Falls of between 5 and 10 millimetres are expected in cropping regions across much of central and southern Queensland and central Victoria. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions in Australia during the next eight days.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased between 18 March 2020 and 25 March 2020 by 12 gigalitres (GL). Current volume of water held in storage is 8,051 GL which represents 32 per cent of total capacity.
  • The Barmah choke trade limit is currently binding, which has opened price gaps between catchments above and below the Barmah choke. Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $515 per ML on 19 March 2020 to $480 per ML on 26 March 2020.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 25 March 2020 rainfall was largely restricted to parts of northern, western and southern Australia. Rainfall between 10 and 50 millimetres was recorded across scattered areas of Queensland, south-western South Australia, the south and inland west of Western Australia, the north of the Northern Territory and Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across parts of northern Queensland and the far north of the Northern Territory.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of western South Australia and parts of northern and eastern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and remaining regions in South Australia and Western Australia during the week ending 25 March 2020.

Rainfall for the week ending 25 March 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: 25/03/2020

Temperature anomalies this week

For the week ending 24 March  2020, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of north-western and central Australia. Minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average across parts of central and western Australia. In contrast, maximum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C below average across parts of south-western Australia and minimum temperatures were 2°C to 4°C below average across scattered parts of northern and eastern Australia. Average (- 2°C to 2°C) minimum temperatures were recorded across the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 24 March 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: 25/03/2020

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 24 March 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: 25/03/2020

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.

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 temperature is likely to be from the 1990-2012 average. 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 About the climate outlooks

The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) are expected to remain neutral until at least mid-year and the Southern Annual Mode (SAM) is expected to remain neutral for the next three weeks. The forecast position of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is expected to influence drier conditions over northern Australia during late March. In contrast, warmer waters in the eastern Indian Ocean may enhance rainfall in southern Australia during autumn.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that there is a shift towards wetter than average rainfall for south-western Australia and isolated parts of north-western Australia during April 2020. In contrast, the outlook suggests drier than average conditions are more likely across parts of central and eastern Queensland. The rainfall outlook for April to June 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are more likely for much of southern Australia and parts of the far north of Australia, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across the remainder of Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 19 March 2020).

The outlook for April 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across parts of far northern and eastern coasts of Australia, south-western and south-eastern Australia, and eastern Tasmania. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across parts of the tropical north and western Tasmania. In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1 and 10 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. Across most cropping regions in Western Australia, there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 5 and 25 millimetres for April 2020.

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

Map showing rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring during the next month in Australia. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 19/03/2020

In many areas where soil moisture is close to average to above average for this time of year, there is reasonable chance of recording rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production initiated by the early autumn break. In eastern New South Wales, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 5 and 25 millimetres and a 50% chance of receiving between 10 and 50 millimetres during April 2020.

The outlook for April and June 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 100 millimetres across parts of far northern Australia and much of south-western and south-eastern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 100 millimetres are likely across parts of the south-western and south-eastern coasts and much of Tasmania. In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 100 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia between April and June 2020. Across cropping regions in Queensland, there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 100 millimetres between April and June 2020

Rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring April to June 2020

Map showing rainfall totals that have a 75% chance of occurring for the next three months in Australia. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 19/03/2020

The temperature outlook for April to June 2020 indicates that daytime and night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 2°C above the 1990-2012 average, across most of northern 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’, 19 March 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for April to June 2020

Map showing the predicted average maximum temperature anomaly for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for April to June 2020

Map showing the predicted average minimum temperature anomaly for the next three months in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Over the next eight days, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of eastern and northern Australia. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast for isolated parts of north-eastern New South Wales, northern Queensland and north of the Northern Territory. Low pressure troughs are expected to bring showers and thunderstorms to New South Wales during the next eight days, and the rainfall generated may be patchy due to the nature of storm events. 

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 50 millimetres is expected across much of New South Wales, and parts of southern Queensland and eastern Victoria. If these falls eventuate as forecast they are likely to be sufficient to sustain crop and pasture growth initiated by the early March rainfall despite the above average maximum temperatures recorded during the week ending 24 March 2020. Falls of between 5 and 10 millimetres are expected in cropping regions across much of central and southern Queensland and central Victoria. Little to no rainfall is expected across remaining cropping regions in Australia during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 26 March 2020 to 2 April 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: 26/03/2020

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 – 26 March 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 25-Mar US$/A$ 0.58 0.62 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 0.71 -18%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 24-Mar US$/t 232 214 8%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 224 4%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 25-Mar US$/t 157 160 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 170 -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 25-Mar US$/t 345 350 -1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 366 -6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 26-Mar USc/lb 64.1 69.3 -8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 86.2 -26%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 26-Mar USc/lb 11.0 11.2 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 12.6 -13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 19-Mar Ac/kg clean 1,438 1,521 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 1,963 -27%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 19-Mar Ac/kg clean 1,538 1,616 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,127 -28%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$/t 351 358 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 289 21%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW 03-Mar A$/t 428 436 -2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 418 2%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW 03-Mar A$/t 356 366 -3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 398 -11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW 03-Mar A$/t 396 426 -7%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 a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 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 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 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 06-Mar Ac/kg cwt 411 414 <1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 331 24%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) 23-Mar Ac/kg cwt 917 917 0% 616 49%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 21-Mar Ac/kg lwt 385 385 0% 280 38%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 17-Mar US$/t 2,797 2,952 -5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 3,317 -16%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 17-Mar US$/t 2,527 2,747 -8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. 2,405 5%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 17-Mar US$/t 4,398 4,285 3%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 4,036 9%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 17-Mar US$/t 4,331 4,302 <1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. 5,662 -24%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: 26 March 2020
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