Weekly update - 7 June 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 6 June 2018 little to no rainfall was recorded across much of mainland Australia, with falls being restricted to the west of Western Australia and the south-eastern corner of the country.
  • The 2018 autumn was exceptionally warm for Australia coming in at the fourth-warmest autumn on record. For the country as a whole, the national monthly mean temperature was 1.18 °C above the long-term average.
  • Rainfall in May 2018 was well below average to below average across most of Australia. Nationally, May rainfall was the third lowest on record and lowest for May since 2008.
  • Autumn 2018 was particularly dry across much of southern and western Australia. Rainfall for the season was in the lowest 10 per cent of historical records for much of southern mainland Australia. For southern Australia as a whole, autumn rainfall was the second lowest on record.
  • Relative lower layer soil moisture in May 2018 was extremely low to well below average across much of New South Wales, eastern and northern Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and much of Western Australia.
  • Rainfall deficiencies have increased across southwest Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, and southern Queensland at the 14-month timescale due to particularly dry May. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain across a large area large areas of New South Wales, southern to central Queensland, the Gippsland region in eastern Victoria, scattered areas of South Australia and the far southwest and west of Western Australia.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology report that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is expected to remain neutral until August.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is expected across much of western and southern Australia. Little to no rainfall is forecast across much of the remainder of the country.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 7 June 2018 by 163 gigalitres (GL) to 11,334 GL and are at 50 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,109 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased in the week ending 7 June 2018 at $169 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 6 June 2018 little to no rainfall was recorded across much of mainland Australia, with falls being restricted to the west of Western Australia and the south-eastern corner of the country. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of the west of Western Australia. Similar rainfall totals were recorded across parts coastal New South Wales, scattered areas of eastern and southern Victoria and the west and northeast of Tasmania, Higher totals of between 50 and 150 millimetres were recorded across the north-west of Western Australia and the central coast region of New South Wales. The highest recorded weekly total was 228 millimetres at Nelson Bay in the central coast region of New South Wales.

A forecasted rainfall event for the Western Australian grainsbelt that was reported in last week’s Weekly Australian Climate, Water and Agricultural Update has eventuated, with falls of between 5 and 25 millimeters being recorded across northern, western and central cropping regions further consolidating this key production state’s winter crop prospects. Unfortunately, this rainfall event failed to penetrate further east, with the Esperance region and the eastern wheatbelt yet to receive a substantial break to the season.

Rainfall - week ending 6 June 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 6/06/2018

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.

Seasonal temperature

The 2018 autumn was exceptionally warm for Australia coming in at the fourth-warmest autumn on record. For the country as a whole, the national monthly mean temperature was 1.18 °C above the long-term average. Most states and territories except Tasmania, Queensland, and the Northern Territory observed mean temperatures for the season amongst the ten warmest on record and for both maximum and minimum temperatures were warmer than average for Australia. The mean monthly maximum temperature for Australia as a whole were the fourth warmest on record for autumn at 1.74 °C above the long-term average. Overnight temperatures were not as extreme, with the national mean minimum temperature ranking just outside the top ten, at 0.62 °C above the long-term average for autumn.

Maximum temperature deciles for Autumn 2018

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

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 5/06/2018

Maximum temperatures for autumn 2018 compared with temperature recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information go to Daily maximum temperature for Australia

Monthly rainfall

Rainfall in May 2018 was generally well below average to below average across most of Australia. Nationally, May rainfall was the third-lowest on record and lowest for May since 2008. Severely deficient to below average rainfall was recorded across large areas of Queensland, northern and eastern New South Wales, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In contrast, above average to extremely high rainfall was recorded in south-western parts Victoria and Tasmania. Much of the rain fell in a single event, when a complex low-pressure system and strong cold front crossed the far south-east of Australia on 10 May.

May 2018 rainfall in cropping regions was generally well below average in Queensland, northern New South Wales and Western Australia, and average in southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Rainfall percentiles for May 2018

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Note: Rainfall for May 2018 is compared with rainfall recorded for that period during the historical record (1900 to present). For further information, go to Australian Water Availability Project

Seasonal rainfall

Autumn 2018 was particularly dry across much of southern and western Australia. Rainfall for the season was in the lowest 10 per cent of historical records for much of southern mainland Australia. For southern Australia as a whole, autumn rainfall was the second lowest on record. New South Wales, South Australia, and Western Australia all observed area-averaged autumn rainfall amongst the ten lowest on record at a state level, with a number of stations in New South Wales and Western Australia receiving record-low rainfall for the season.

In contrast, much of the south of the Northern Territory, and western, central, and northern Queensland recorded well above average to extremely high autumn rainfall. Well above average rain in these regions was largely the result of a tropical low in early March, and tropical cyclone Nora late in the month.

In the cropping regions, autumn 2018 rainfall was variable in Queensland, generally well below average in Victoria and South Australia and severely deficient to extremely low across much of Western Australia and New South Wales.

Rainfall percentiles for autumn 2018 (1 March 2018 to 31 May 2018)

 

Source: Bureau of Meteorology
Note: Rainfall for March to May 2018 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

Relative upper layer soil moisture in May 2018 was well below average to extremely low across large areas of southern Queensland and adjacent areas of South Australia and the Northern Territory, the northern half of New South Wales, and large areas of Western Australia. It was generally average across southern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and large areas of northern Australia.

In cropping regions, upper layer soil moisture was extremely low to well below average in southern Queensland, northern New South Wales and Western Australia. In contrast, it was generally average in southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Modelling upper layer soil moisture for May 2018

 

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 May 2018. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during May 2018 compare with April conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in May 2018 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 in May 2018 was extremely low to well below average across much of New South Wales, eastern and northern Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory and much of Western Australia. It was average to extremely high across most of Queensland, Tasmania and southern agricultural regions of Victoria and South Australia.

In cropping regions, lower layer soil moisture was extremely low to well below average in New South Wales, Western Australia and parts of Queensland.  It was variable in Victoria and South Australia, ranging from extremely low in the Mallee regions to average in most other cropping regions.

Modelling lower layer soil moisture for May 2018

 

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 May 2018. This map shows how modelled soil conditions during May 2018 compare with April conditions modelled over the reference period (1911 to 2015). Dark blue areas on the maps were much wetter in May 2018 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 deficiencies

The rainfall deficiencies presented below are sourced from the Bureau of Meteorology’s monthly ‘Drought Statement’. As short to longer-term deficiencies become evident the Bureau of Meteorology monitors these events through their lifecycle – from emergence through to their dissipation – with the time-period of analysis each month increasing from a fixed starting point to the easing of the deficiencies.

For further information, go to Drought

As reported in the Monthly and Seasonal rainfall sections above May and autumn were particularly dry across western and eastern Australia. Below average rainfall for May has deepened rainfall deficiencies across the much of New South Wales, while serious deficiencies have also emerged in the South Coastal District of Western Australia. Above average rainfall for May has lessened deficiencies across southeastern South Australia and much of southern Victoria.

The year so far has been drier than average for the southeastern quarter of mainland Australia; for this region January to May 2018 has been the seventh-driest such period on record. For this five months period, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are in place across much of New South Wales, parts of southern Queensland and eastern South Australia, the Mallee region and smaller areas of Gippsland in Victoria, and in Western Australia in the South Coastal District and near Shark Bay on the west coast.

Compared to the 13-month period (April 2017 to April 2018) presented in the previous Drought Statement, rainfall deficiencies have increased in southwest Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales, and southern Queensland.

For the 14 months 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are in place across large areas of northern and eastern New South Wales, southern to central Queensland, across much of Gippsland region in eastern Victoria, scattered areas of South Australia and the far southwest and west of Western Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 4 June 2018).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 5-month period 1 January 2018 to 31 May 2018

 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2018

Rainfall deficiencies for the 14-month period 1 April 2017 to 31 May 2018

 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 04/06/2018

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, widespread rainfall is expected across much of western and southern Australia. Little to no rainfall is forecast across much of the remainder of the country. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast across much of southern and eastern New South Wales, Victoria, the southern half of South Australia, the southwest, northwest and central areas of Western Australia and the north and west of Tasmania. Heavier falls of between 50 and 200 millimetres are forecast for the northwest of Western Australia and northwest of Tasmania.

In cropping regions, rainfall totals of between 15 and 50 millimetres are forecast for Victoria and South Australia. In Western Australian cropping regions, falls of between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast, with the lowest rainfall totals expected in the east and Esperance region. In New South Wales similar rainfall totals are forecast, with the lowest rainfall totals expected in central and northern parts of the cropping region. Little to no rainfall is forecast for cropping regions in Queensland.

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 7 June to 14 June 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 7/06/2018

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains in a neutral state—neither El Niño nor La Niña. Most international climate models indicate that ENSO is likely to continue in a neutral phase until August. Atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO are largely at neutral levels. However, sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean are now warmer than average and warming of waters in the tropical Pacific sub-surface is likely lead to further warming of the surface of the ocean in the eastern Pacific in the coming weeks.

Most international climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate some further warming of the tropical Pacific Ocean is likely in the coming months. The amount of warming varies, with some models predicting close to the long-term average, but three of the eight models reach El Niño levels during spring. During El Niño, rainfall in eastern Australian is typically below average during winter and spring. A neutral ENSO phase has little effect on Australian climate (Bureau of Meteorology, ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 5 June 2018).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 7 June 2018 by 163 gigalitres (GL) to 11,171 GL and are at 50 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,109 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 2001 to 2018, 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 7 June 2018 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 May 2018 and the previous 12 months are summarised in the table and graph below (current at 7 June 2018).

Region

Total capacity

Current volume

Current volume

Monthly change

Monthly change

Annual change

Annual change

 

(GL)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

(GL)

(%)

Murray-Darling Basin (MDB)

22559

11334

50

322

1

-4109

-18

Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) controlled storages

9352

5072

54

261

3

-1097

-12

Queensland MDB

186

116

62

-8

-4

-54

-29

Central Queensland

3154

2935

93

-71

-2

132

4

South-east Queensland

3517

2044

58

-49

-1

-314

-9

New South Wales MDB

13884

5294

38

374

3

-3841

-28

Coastal New South Wales

1074

753

70

-21

-2

-181

-17

Victoria MDB

8488

5925

70

-44

-1

-214

-3

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

 

Water allocations

The current water allocations for the 2017–18 water trading season for licence holders in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia water systems are summarised in the following table and charts.

Water allocations in the Murray–Darling Basin (NSW, Victoria and South Australia)

Allocations at

7 June 2018

31 May 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

51%

97%

51%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

45%

95%

45%

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

18%

100%

18%

100%

NSW Border Rivers

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

100%(a)/19.62%(b)

100%

NSW Peel

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria

Low reliability

High reliability

Low reliability

High reliability

Victoria Murray

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Campaspe

59%

100%

59%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

100%

0%

100%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

100%

100%

100%

100%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray-Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin increased in the week ending 7 June 2018 at $169 per ML. This is an increase of $10 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $160 in May across the whole southern MDB, and $23 during the same month last year.

Murrumbidgee intravalley and interstate trade closed on 31 May and will remain closed until 1 July when all NSW trade recommences.

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 7 June 2018. Trade activity is shown as colour density.

Allocation trade prices, southern Murray–Darling Basin trade zones (price per ML)

 

Southern MDB

Victoria Goulburn

SA Murray

NSW Murrumbidgee

Victoria Murray

NSW Murray

Current week: 01/06/18 - 07/06/18

$169.15

$174.46

$150.21

-

$170.36

$162.85

Last week: 25/05/18 - 31/05/18

$159.29

$153.18

$150.97

$170.98

$152.18

$153.43

May-18

$159.83

$156.89

$151.00

$174.56

$155.75

$155.77

May-17

$22.67

$27.81

$29.92

$5.50

$27.71

$23.68

Commodities

Current indicators – 7 June 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate06-JunUS$/A$0.760.751%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.0.751%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf05-JunUS$/t251256-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.20224%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 Gulf06-JunUS$/t173179-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1617%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg05-JunUS$/t406410<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.412-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index06-JunUSc/lb99.796.43%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.86.915%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 contract06-JunUSc/lb12.312.5-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.14.0-12%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator31-MayAc/kg clean2,0271,9832%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,47238%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator01-JunAc/kg clean2,1672,1192%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,50444%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, SA05-Jun A$/t2902900%20442%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW29-MayA$/t375376<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.23957%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW29-MayA$/t3503500%21464%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.04-JunA$/t520524<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.5033%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW29-MayA$/t3653650%27234%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 Indicator31-MayAc/kg cwt467472-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.652-28%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), Vic01-JunAc/kg cwt4864791%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.557-13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator31-MayAc/kg cwt6196013%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.671-8%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Pig – Eastern Seaboard (60.1–75 kg), average of buyers & sellers25-MayAc/kg cwt2602600%299-13%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)04-JunAc/kg cwt5085080%656-23%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 Indonesia02-JunAc/kg lwt2602600%nana chart
Live sheep – Live wether (Muchea WA saleyard) to Middle East14-May$/head95nana116-18%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 pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder05-JunUS$/t3,2053,226<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,1432%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder05-JunUS$/t2,0512,047<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2,156-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese05-JunUS$/t3,9984,205-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4,285-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat05-JunUS$/t6,2226,354-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6,631-6%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.

Movements in selected fruit and vegetable prices
Data attribution

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Last reviewed:
07 Jun 2018