Weekly update - 28 May 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • In Western Australia the rainfall recorded across most cropping regions during the week ending 27 May 2020 is likely to be sufficient to initiate germination of dry sown crops and allow for the re-sowing of crops damaged by recent strong winds if required.
  • Following low rainfall during April and most of May, patchy rainfall this week is likely to benefit the establishment of early-planted crops and provide some much needed upper layer soil moisture in the southern and central Queensland cropping regions.
  • Over the past few weeks, the upper soil layer had begun to dry out across most Queensland cropping regions to an extent that crop roots were unable to access stored lower layer soil moisture to support their growth. Rainfall this week will go part way to address this issue but above average rainfall in June and July will be required to replenish soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage further plantings (see Section 1.1).
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral but 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.
  • There is a high chance that rainfall during June 2020 will be sufficient to encourage further plantings of winter cereals and allow for the establishment and growth of earlier sown crop and sustain pasture growth. Across most cropping regions in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres during June and August 2020 (see Section 1.2).
  • Over the next eight days, high-pressure systems over Australia are expected to limit rainfall (see Section 1.3). Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 10 and 25 millimetres is expected across parts of southern Victoria, central and western South Australia and southern Western Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 19 May 2020 and 26 May 2020 by 136 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 9,644 GL which represents 38 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke decreased from $200 per ML on 21 May 2020 to $190 per ML on 28 May 2020. Prices are higher in the Murrumbidgee and lower in the Goulburn-Broken compared to other regions, due to the binding of the Murrumbidgee import limit and Goulburn intervalley trade limit.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 27 May 2020, low-pressure systems and troughs resulted in rainfall across much of Australia. Damaging winds, showers and thunderstorms occurred in Western Australia as ex-tropical cyclone Mangga interacted with a strong cold front. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, northern and eastern Queensland, southern Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, the west and north of Western Australia, the north-west of the Northern Territory and western Tasmania. Rainfall totals in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded primarily across parts of north-eastern Queensland and the north-west of Western Australia.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 25 millimetres were recorded across parts of eastern New South Wales, northern and southern Queensland, much of the northern and central wheat belt of Western Australia and isolated parts of central Victoria and South Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining regions during the week ending 27 May 2020.

In Western Australia the rainfall recorded across most cropping regions is likely to be sufficient to initiate germination of dry sown crops and facilitate the re-sowing of crops damaged by recent strong winds if required.

Following low rainfall during April and most of May, patchy rainfall this week is likely to benefit the establishment of early-planted crops and provide some much needed upper layer soil moisture in the southern and central Queensland cropping regions. Over the past few weeks, the upper soil layer had begun to dry out to an extent that crop roots were unable to access stored lower layer soil moisture to support their growth. These falls will go part way to address this issue but widespread above average rainfall in June and July will be required to replenish soil moisture profiles, improve crop establishment and development, and encourage additional wheat plantings.

Rainfall for the week ending 27 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: 27/05/2020

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/

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. These provide an indication of how favourable conditions for agricultural production are likely to be. 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 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 caution should be exercised when using IOD forecasts issued during autumn, as they are less accurate than forecasts made at other times of the year. In addition to the potential for a negative IOD from mid-winter, 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.

The latest rainfall outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests above average rainfall is very likely for much of Australia during June 2020, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier June across parts of north-eastern Australia, the south-eastern coastline of Australia and southern Tasmania. Similarly, the rainfall outlook for June to August 2020 suggests that wetter than average conditions are very likely for much of Australia, with roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average three months across parts of north-eastern Australia, the eastern coastline of Australia and much of Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 21 May 2020).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall June to August 2020

rain.forecast.median.national.season1.20200521.hr_.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 21/05/2020

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

In cropping regions there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 10 and 50 millimetres across of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 1 millimetre in the north to 25 millimetres in the south for June 2020.

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

rain_forecast_calib_scenario_75_national_month1_latest_hr_0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 21/05/2020

In many areas where soil moisture is close to average to above average for this time of year, there is a good chance of recording June rainfall totals sufficient to sustain crop and pasture production initiated by the early autumn break. In New South Wales, for example, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 10 and 50 millimetres and a 50% chance of receiving between 25 and 100 millimetres during June 2020.

The outlook for June and August 2020 suggests that there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 50 and 200 millimetres across south-eastern, south-western, and far southern Australia. Rainfall totals in excess of 200 millimetres are likely across isolated parts of south-eastern and south-western Australia and western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, there is a 75% chance of receiving between 50 and 200 millimetres across much of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Across cropping regions in Queensland there is a 75% chance of rainfall totals between 25 and 100 millimetres between June and August 2020.

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

rain_forecast_calib_scenario_75_national_season1_latest_hr_0.png

©Commonwealth of Australia 2020, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 21/05/2020

The temperature outlook for June to August 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 and night-time temperatures are likely to be between 1°C to 3°C above average across much of 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’, 21 May 2020).

Predicted maximum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmax.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png
 

Predicted minimum temperature anomaly for June to August 2020

tmin.forecast.calib_.anom_.national.season1.latest.hr__0.png

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

High pressures systems over Australia are expected to limit rainfall over the next eight days. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for parts of south-eastern Australia and the south-west and north of Western Australia. Falls in excess of 50 millimetres are forecast across isolated areas of northern Western Australia and western Tasmania.

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

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 28 May 2020 to 3 June 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: 28/05/2020

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 – 28 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

AUD/USD Exchange rate 27-May US$/A$ 0.65 0.65 0% 0.70 -6% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 27-May US$/t 218 218 0% 226 -4% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 20-May US$/t 145 144 1% 191 -24% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 27-May US$/t 363 364 0% 362 0% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 20-May USc/lb 67 66 1% 80 -17% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 20-May USc/lb 11 10 6% 12 -7% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 27-May Ac/kg clean 1,170 1,155 1% 1,936 -40% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 27-May Ac/kg clean 1,239 1,214 2% 2,127 -42% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 27-May A$/t 401 406 -1% 366 9% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 27-May A$/t 400 404 -1% 362 10% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 27-May A$/t 287 283 2% 361 -20% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 27-May A$/t 645 643 0% 595 8%  
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 27-May A$/t 355 433 -18% 408 -13% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator b 25-Mar Ac/kg cwt 727 750 -3% 414 76% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic b 18-Mar Ac/kg cwt 718 708 1% 419 71% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator b 18-Mar Ac/kg cwt 941 961 -2% 630 49% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 20-May Ac/kg cwt 329 337 -3% 338 -3% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 27-May Ac/kg cwt 760 790 -4% 798 -5% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 27-May Ac/kg lwt 320 300 7% 280 14% chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East 11-Dec $/head 105 140 -25% - - chart

Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average prices a

Dairy – Whole milk powder 20-May US$/t 2,677 2,745 -2% 3,278 -18% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 20-May US$/t 2,549 2,373 7% 1,849 38% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 20-May US$/t 3,864 4,115 -6% 3,679 5% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 20-May US$/t 4,079 3,973 3% 5,806 -30% 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: 28 May 2020
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