Weekly update - 30 July 2020

Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 29 July 2020, a trough and coastal low-pressure system developed bringing heavy rainfall, damaging winds, flooding and coastal erosion to parts of eastern Australia. Moderate rainfall was recorded across cropping regions in parts of central and northern New South Wales, likely supporting favourable crop yield potential and pasture growth in these areas.
  • The latest northern rainfall onset outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that an early northern rainfall onset for the 2020-21 season is slightly more likely across parts of the central and east of northern Australia. An early onset is likely to boost soil moisture and water storages, and benefit summer crop production and northern pasture growth.
  • Over the next eight days, high pressure systems over Australia are expected to limit rainfall for much of the week, with low pressure systems developing over southern Australia expected to bring rainfall near the end of the week. Across cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 15 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of southern Queensland and the southern Western Australian wheat belt. Rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres are expected across the far south of the Western Australian wheat belt.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) increased between 22 July 2020 and 29 July 2020 by 122 gigalitres (GL). The current volume of water held in storage is 11,620 GL which represents 46 per cent of total capacity.
  • Allocation prices in the Victorian Murray below the Barmah choke increased from $250 per ML on 23 July 2020 to $370 per ML on 30 July 2020. Prices are lower in the Goulburn-Broken and regions above the Barmah Choke, due to binding of the Goulburn intervalley trade limit and the Barmah Choke trade constraint.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 29 July 2020 a trough and coastal low-pressure system developed bringing heavy rainfall, damaging winds, flooding and coastal erosion to parts of eastern Australia. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of eastern and central New South Wales, the south-eastern coast of Queensland, eastern Victoria and south-western Western Australia. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded across large parts of eastern New South Wales with totals up to 300 millimetres across isolated parts of the south-eastern coast. Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was also recorded across isolated parts of the south-eastern Queensland coast, eastern Victoria and far south-western Western Australia.

In Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of central and northern New South Wales and isolated parts of eastern Queensland and far southern Western Australia. Little to no rainfall was recorded across remaining cropping regions during the week ending 29 July 2020.

These falls are likely to maintain full soil moisture profiles, supporting favourable crop yield potential and pasture growth in parts of central and northern New South Wales. Most cropping regions across Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have generally recorded below average rainfall during July and will need follow up rainfall in the next few weeks to support current crop yield potential.

Rainfall for the week ending 29 July 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: 29/07/2020

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/

Northern Rainfall Onset Outlook

The northern rainfall onset outlook provides an indication of whether the first significant rains after the dry season are likely to be earlier or later than normal. The onset occurs when the total rainfall after 1 September reaches 50 millimetres, this is considered approximately the amount of rainfall required to stimulate plant growth. 

The latest northern rainfall onset outlook released by the Bureau of Meteorology suggests that an early northern rainfall onset for the 2020-21 season is slightly more likely across parts of the central and east of northern Australia. The chance of an early rainfall onset is greater than 65% for parts of central and western Queensland, and isolated parts of the central-eastern Queensland coast and south of the Northern Territory. This would contrast the past two northern wet seasons that had later than normal onsets, reducing the length of the dryland summer growing season and the recharge of water storages. An early onset of the 2020­-21 northern wet season is likely to boost soil moisture and water storages, and benefit summer crop production and northern pasture growth.

The likelihood of an earlier than normal northern rainfall onset is higher in parts of northern Australia due to an increased chance of a La Niña-like pattern emerging by late spring.

Chance of early northern rainfall onset

northern_rainfall_onset_20200716.png

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

High pressure systems over Australia are expected to limit rainfall for much of the week, with low pressure systems developing over southern Australia expected to bring rainfall near the end of the week. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 25 millimetres are forecast for much of Victoria, and parts of central and western New South Wales, south-eastern South Australia, southern Western Australia and eastern Tasmania. Rainfall in excess of 25 millimetres is expected for isolated parts of eastern Queensland, southern Victoria, southern Western Australia and western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall of between 5 and 15 millimetres is expected across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and parts of southern Queensland and the southern Western Australian wheat belt. Rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres are expected across the far south of the Western Australian wheat belt during the next eight days.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 30 July 2020 to 6 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: 30/07/2020

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 – 30 July 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 29-Jul US$/A$ 0.71 0.71 1% 0.68 6% chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf 29-Jul US$/t 220 222 -1% 210 5% chart
Coarse Grains – US no. 2 yellow corn, fob Gulf 29-Jul US$/t 153 153 0% 176 -13% chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Canada, fob Vancouver 29-Jul US$/t 372 378 -2% 363 2% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index 15-Jul USc/lb 69 70 -1% 75 -8% chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract 29-Jul USc/lb 12 12 2% 12 -1% chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator 08-Jul Ac/kg clean 1,134 1,116 2% 1,887 -40% chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator 08-Jul Ac/kg clean 1,202 1,185 1% 2,095 -43% chart

Selected Australian grain export prices

Milling Wheat – APW, Port Adelaide, SA 29-Jul A$/t 330 327 1% 344 -4% chart
Feed Wheat – ASW, Port Adelaide, SA 29-Jul A$/t 313 310 1% 343 -9% chart
Feed Barley – Port Adelaide, SA 29-Jul A$/t 274 270 1% 348 -21% chart
Canola – Kwinana, WA 29-Jul A$/t 628 623 1% 594 6% chart
Grain Sorghum – Brisbane, QLD 29-Jul A$/t 354 352 1% 385 -8% chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator 29-Jul Ac/kg cwt 755 747 1% 485 55% chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18–24 kg fat score 2–3), Vic 22-Jul Ac/kg cwt 579 588 -2% 488 19% chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator 22-Jul Ac/kg cwt 747 817 -9% 688 9% chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers 24-Jun Ac/kg cwt 299 289 3% 344 -13% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1–16 kg) 22-Jul Ac/kg cwt 723 723 0% 940 -23% chart
Live cattle – Light steers ex Darwin to Indonesia 22-Jul 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 08-Jul US$/t 3,208 2,829 13% 3,226 -1% chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder 08-Jul US$/t 2,694 2,609 3% 2,047 32% chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese 08-Jul US$/t 3,762 3,631 4% 4,205 -11% chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat 08-Jul US$/t 3,981 3,993 0% 6,354 -37% 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: 30 July 2020
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