Weekly update - 5 October 2017

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Weekly Australian Climate,
Water and Agricultural Update

Key issues

  • During the week ending 4 October 2017 widespread rainfall was recorded with totals between 5 and 100 millimetres in south-eastern Queensland, north-eastern New South Wales, western Tasmania, northern South Australia and adjacent parts of the Northern Territory.
  • For the week ending 3 October 2017 maximum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) across most of New South Wales, Queensland, and parts of the Northern Territory and below average (-2°C to -6°C) in northern South Australia and southern parts of the Northern Territory.
  • Rainfall for September 2017 was below average across much of eastern and south-eastern Australia and above average in parts of Western Australia, central Australia, coastal Victoria, far south-eastern South Australia and western Tasmania. September rainfall was the lowest on record for New South Wales.
  • According to a Special Climate Statement released by the Bureau of Meteorology on 5 October 2017, Australia had its warmest September day on record on 22 September 2017.
  • Upper and lower layer soil moisture for September 2017 were well below average over much of eastern, south-eastern and parts of northern Australia. In contrast, upper and lower layer soil moisture were above average in western parts of Western Australia, central Australia, along the Victorian coastline and in western Tasmania.
  • For the next eight days, rainfall is forecast for central, southern and eastern Australia. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for most of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Similar totals are forecast for south-eastern and far western Queensland and western parts of Western Australia.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 5 October 2017 by 156 gigalitres (GL) to 16,662 GL and are at 74 per cent of total capacity. This is 6 percentage points or 1,312 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Water allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin climbed in the week to 5 October 2017 to $133 per ML. This is an increase of $10 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 4 October 2017 widespread rainfall was recorded across eastern, central and parts of northern Australia. Rainfall totals between 5 and 100 millimetres were recorded in south-eastern Queensland, north-eastern New South Wales, western Tasmania, northern South Australia and the adjacent parts of the Northern Territory. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded in northern Western Australia and across the Top End. Totals between 5 and 25 millimetres were recorded in south-western Western Australia, southern Victoria and alpine regions of New South Wales. The highest recorded weekly total was 350 millimetres at Bundaberg in Queensland.

An upper level low brought widespread rainfall to south-eastern Queensland on October 2 2017. While there were reports of crop damage from heavy downpours and localised flooding in the region, the rainfall is likely to improve soil moisture and on farm water storages after a very dry winter. Some areas have already recorded more than twice their monthly average rainfall for October.

Rainfall - week ending 4 October 2017

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 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 4/10/2017

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 Weekly Rainfall Update.

Temperature anomalies this week

During the week ending 3 October 2017 maximum temperatures were above average (2°C to 4°C) across most of New South Wales, Queensland, and parts of the Northern Territory. Maximum temperature anomalies were higher (4°C to 6°C) in central and south-eastern Queensland. Maximum temperatures were below average (-2°C to -6°C) in northern South Australia and the adjacent parts of the Northern Territory. Maximum temperatures were close to average for the remainder of Australia. Minimum temperatures were above average (2°C to 6°C) across much of northern and north-eastern Australia and below average (-2°C to -4°C) in isolated parts of Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales.

On 5 October 2017, the Bureau of Meteorology released a Special Climate Statement on the recent exceptional heat in eastern Australia. According to the report, Australia had its warmest September day on record on 22 September 2017, with New South Wales recording its warmest September day on September 23 2017, and Queensland on September 27 2017.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 3 October 2017

Map showing maximum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/10/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 3 October 2017

Map showing minimum temperature anomalies in Australia. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.] 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 3/10/2017

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 their long-term averages. Temperature anomalies are calculated using high-resolution gridded datasets from 1911 onwards. For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia.

Monthly rainfall

September 2017 was drier than average across much of eastern and south-eastern Australia. September rainfall was the lowest on record for New South Wales at 86 per cent below the average. Well below average rainfall was also recorded in northern and far eastern Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, eastern Tasmania and south of the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. Rainfall was below average between the Kimberley and western Queensland, although much of this area is seasonally dry during September.

Parts of Western Australia and central Australia recorded above average September rainfall totals. September was also wetter than average in coastal Victoria, far south-eastern South Australia, western Tasmania, and parts of Queensland’s north tropical coast.

In the cropping regions, September 2017 rainfall was well below average to severely deficient in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. In Western Australia’s cropping regions, rainfall ranged from average to well above average.

Rainfall percentiles for September 2017

Map showing rainfall percentiles for September 2017. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description.  

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Note: Rainfall for September 2017 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Monthly soil moisture

The combination of warm and dry conditions during September 2017 has seen a decrease in upper and lower layer soil moisture levels across much of eastern and southern Australia.

Relative upper layer soil moisture for September 2017 was well below average over much of eastern, south-eastern and parts of northern Australia. In contrast, upper layer soil moisture was above average for western parts of Western Australia, isolated parts of central Australia, along the Victorian coastline and in western Tasmania. The pattern of relative upper layer soil moisture reflects September 2017 rainfall.

In the cropping regions, upper layer soil moisture ranged from well below average to extremely low in Queensland, New South Wales, parts of northern Victoria and northern South Australia. It was average in the remainder of cropping regions in Victoria and South Australia. In Western Australia upper layer soil moisture ranged from average to above average.

Modelling upper layer soil moisture for September 2017

MMap showing relative upper layer soil moisture for July 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled upper layer soil moisture (0 to 10 centimetres) during September 2017. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during September 2017 compare with September conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in September 2017 than during the same period over the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore the most appropriate indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating plants. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Relative lower layer soil moisture for September 2017 was well below average across most of New South Wales and Queensland, parts of eastern Victoria, eastern Tasmania and central South Australia. Lower layer soil moisture was well above average in isolated parts of Western Australia and the Northern Territory, far northern Queensland, coastal Victoria and western Tasmania.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was generally below average to extremely low in Queensland and New South Wales. It was close to average in cropping regions in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Modelling lower layer soil moisture for September 2017

Map showing relative lower layer soil moisture for September 2017. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology (Australian Water Resources Assessment Landscape model)

Note: This map shows the levels of modelled lower layer soil moisture (10 centimetres to 1 metre) during September 2017. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during September 2017 compare with September conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in September 2017 than during the same period over the reference period. The dark red areas were much drier than during the reference period. The bulk of plant roots occur in the top 20 centimetres of the soil profile. Soil moisture in the upper layer of the soil profile is therefore the most appropriate indicator of the availability of water, particularly for germinating plants. The lower layer soil moisture is a larger, deeper store that is slower to respond to rainfall and tends to reflect accumulated rainfall events over longer time periods.

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is forecast for central, southern and eastern Australia during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for most of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Similar totals are forecast for south-eastern and far western Queensland, and western parts of Western Australia.

This rainfall forecast is produced from computer models. As it contains no input from weather forecasters, it is important to check local forecasts and warnings issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 5 to 12 October 2017

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. 

Source: ©Commonwealth of Australia 2017, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 5/10/2017

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 5 October 2017 by 156 gigalitres (GL) to 16,662 GL and are at 74 per cent of total capacity. This is 6 percentage points or 1,312 GL less than at the same time last year.

Visit the interactive Tableau data dashboard

Water storages in the Murray-Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2000 to 2017, measured as a percentage of the total storage of 22,598 gigalitres. 

Information on water available in dams used for irrigation the Murray–Darling Basin from 1 January 2001 to 5 October 2017 is shown above. The top horizontal (short dash) line indicates the storage level during a similar time last year. The bottom horizontal (long dash) line indicates the amount of ‘dead’ or unusable storage.

Water storages

Changes in regional water storage for September 2017 and the previous 12 months are summarised in the table and graph below (current at 5 October 2017)

Region

Total capacity

Current volume

Current volume

Monthly change

Monthly change

Annual change

Annual change

 

(GL)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)

22,559

16,662

74

-35

0

-1,312

-6

Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) controlled storages

9,352

7,229

77

166

2

672

7

Queensland MDB

186

136

73

-11

-6

-52

-28

Central Queensland

3,154

2,402

76

-135

-4

-221

-7

South-east Queensland

3,517

2,137

61

-59

-2

-239

-7

New South Wales MDB

13,884

9,750

70

-197

-1

-1,763

-13

Coastal New South Wales

1,074

905

84

-16

-1

-68

-6

Victoria MDB

8,488

6,776

80

173

2

503

6

State water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and Queensland)

Line graph showing water storages in the Murray–Darling Basin by state (NSW, Victoria and Queensland) from 2002 to 2017, measured as gigalitres (total storage of 22,598 gigalitres.)  

Water allocations

On 3 October 2017 NSW DPI - Water announced allocation increases of:

  • 1% for NSW Murray general security to 29%

On 2 October 2017 the Resource Manager for Northern Victoria announced seasonal determination increases of:

  • 5% for Victoria Broken High Reliability to 41%
  • 8% for Victoria Campaspe Low Reliability to 24%
  • 10% for Victoria Goulburn High Reliability  to 81%
  • 10% for Victoria Loddon High Reliability to 81%
  • 2% for Victoria Murray High Reliability to 100%

Allocations at

5 October 2017

15 September 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

29%

97%

28%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

33%

95%

33%

95%

NSW Lower Darling

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Macquarie and Cudgegong

38%

100%

38%

100%

NSW Hunter

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Lachlan

2%

100%

2%

100%

NSW Lower Namoi

7%

100%

7%

100%

NSW Upper Namoi

100%

100%

100%

100%

NSW Gwydir

12%

100%

12%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

100%(a)/11.1%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

100%

0%

98%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

81%

0%

71%

Victoria Campaspe

24%

100%

16%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

81%

0%

71%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

41%

0%

36%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

Selected water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin climbed in the week up to 5 October 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system increased to $133, an increase of $10 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $122 in September across the whole southern MDB.

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

Allocation trade activity in the southern Murray-Darling Basin. The trades shown reflect market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray-Darling Basin.  

The trades shown reflect estimated market activity and do not encompass all register trades. The price line reflects locally fitted price values for the entire southern Murray–Darling Basin. Data shown is current until Thursday 5 October 2017. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 29/09/17 - 05/10/17

$132.71

$114.97

$122.00

$140.61

$140.74

$142.71

Last week: 22/09/17 - 28/09/17

$122.57

$105.38

$124.67

$129.96

$134.54

$134.08

September 2017

$122.15

$102.41

$148.68

$127.75

$130.27

$131.02

September 2016

$96.51

$119.58

$172.27

$64.04

$119.94

$109.64

Commodities

Current indicators – 5 October 2017

IndicatorWeek endedUnitLatest pricePrice week priorWeekly changePrice 12 months priorYear on year changeChart

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate04-OctUS$/A$0.780.79-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.771%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf03-OctUS$/t219220<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19413%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 Gulf04-OctUS$/t1531483%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1511%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga03-OctUS$/t428433-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4280% chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index04-OctUSc/lb78.379.0<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.77.7<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Sugar – Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no.11 contract04-OctUSc/lb13.813.80%​22.7-39%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator28-SepAc/kg clean1,5221,525<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,29018%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator22-SepAc/kg clean1,5721,570<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,38414%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic crop indicator prices

Milling Wheat – ASW1, track quote, Port Adelaide, SA03-OctA$/t2412286%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20816%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW04-OctA$/t2732730%24113%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW04-OctA$/t2562560%18439%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.02-OctA$/t5415086%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.5243%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW04-OctA$/t3193113%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20456%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Selected domestic livestock indicator prices

Beef – Eastern Young Cattle Indicator28-SepAc/kg cwt509517-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.715-29%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Mutton – Mutton indicator (18-24 kg fat score 2-3), Vic29-SepAc/kg cwt370393-6%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.416-11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator28-SepAc/kg cwt603598<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.599<1%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 & sellers22-SepAc/kg cwt277283-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.378-27%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)02-OctAc/kg cwt457466-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.583-22%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 Indonesia30-SepAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.365-10%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 East02-Oct$/head1111110%9122%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder03-OctUS$/t3,0373,122-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,68113%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder03-OctUS$/t1,8951,920-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,209-14%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese03-OctUS$/t4,1094,0322%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,43020%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat03-OctUS$/t6,5046,764-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4,95431%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a Global Dairy Trade prices are updated twice monthly on the first and third Tuesday of each month.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
05 Oct 2017