Weekly update - 10 May 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 9 May 2018 rainfall was mainly restricted to eastern and south-eastern Australia. Little to no rainfall was received across the remainder of the country.
  • Temperatures continued to be warmer than average during the week ending 8 May 2018. Maximum temperatures were between 2°C to 6°C above average across most of the country, while minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average in Queensland and adjacent parts of New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
  • The first quarter of 2018 has been marked by an extended period of particularly dry weather for much of mainland south-eastern Australia. January to April was the seventh-driest such period for south-eastern Australia as a whole.
  • Rainfall deficiencies have increased across western Queensland at the 13-month timescale due to particularly dry April. Serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain across a large area of New South Wales, central and southwestern Queensland, and scattered areas of pastoral South Australia. Serious or severe deficiencies were also present across much of Gippsland in eastern Victoria and in a broad strip along the west coast of Western Australia.
  • The combination of well above average temperatures and low rainfall during April is likely to have increased moisture stress in southern pastures and early sown winter crops such as canola, barley and oats. The hot and dry conditions is also expected to increase water demand for irrigated crops and pastures.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology report that the El Niño-Southern Oscillation is expected to remain neutral through winter.
  • During the next eight days, rainfall is forecast to be restricted to the far southeast of mainland Australia and Tasmania. Little to no rainfall is expected across the remainder of the country.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 10 May 2018 by 64 gigalitres (GL) to 11,013 GL and are at 49 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,148 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased in the week ending 10 May 2018 to $161 per ML. This is an increase of $5 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 9 May 2018 rainfall was mainly restricted to eastern and south-eastern Australia. Little to no rainfall was received across the remainder of the country. Rainfall totals up to 50 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-eastern and north-eastern New South Wales, south-western and alpine regions of Victoria, and agricultural regions of South Australia and Tasmania.  Similar totals were recorded in south-eastern Queensland and scattered areas along the central and north Queensland coast. The highest recorded weekly total was 171 millimetres at Mount Read in western Tasmania.

Rainfall - week ending 9 May 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: 9/05/2018

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.

Temperature anomalies this week

Temperatures continued to be warmer than average during the week ending 8 May 2018. Maximum temperatures were between 2°C to 6°C above average across most of the country. Minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average in Queensland and adjacent parts of New South Wales and the Northern Territory. They were 2°C to 4°C below average across southwest Western Australia and close to average for the remainder of the country.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 8 May 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 8/05/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 8 May 2018

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 2018, Australian Bureau of Meteorology - Issued: 8/05/2018

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

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

A particularly dry April across western and southern New South Wales and Victoria has increased rainfall deficiencies across the mainland southeast. The combination of well above average temperatures and low rainfall during April is likely to have increased moisture stress in southern pastures and early sown winter crops such as canola, barley and oats. The hot and dry conditions are also expected to increase water demand for irrigated crops and pastures.

The first quarter of 2018 has been marked by an extended period of particularly dry weather for much of mainland south-eastern Australia. It was the seventh driest January to April for south-eastern Australia as a whole. The spatial extent and severity of rainfall deficiencies affecting the southeast has increased compared to the preceding 3-month period (January 2018 to March 2018) presented in the previous Drought Statement.

Compared to the 12-month period (April 2017 to March 2018) presented in the previous Drought Statement, deficiencies have increased in all affected states.

For the 13-month period 1 April to 30 April 2018, serious to severe rainfall deficiencies remain across a large area of eastern to central New South Wales, central and southern to southwestern Queensland, and scattered areas of northern and western New South Wales, western Queensland, and pastoral district in South Australia. Serious or severe deficiencies were also present across much of Gippsland in eastern Victoria, along the east coast of Tasmania, and in a broad strip along the west coast of Western Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 3 May 2018).

Rainfall deficiencies for the 4-month period 1 January 2018 to 30 April 2018

Map showing rainfall deficiencies for the 4-month period 1 January 2018 to 30 April 2018. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australia Bureau of Meteorology Issued: 03/05/2018 

Rainfall deficiencies for the 13-month period 1 April 2017 to 30 April 2018

Map showing rainfall deficiencies for the 13-month period 1 April 2017 to 30 April 2018. Data provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

©Commonwealth of Australia 2018, Australia Bureau of Meteorology Issued: 03/05/2018 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

During the next eight days, little to no rainfall is expected across most of the country. Totals between 10 and 50 millimetres are forecast for south-eastern and coastal New South Wales, southern Victoria and Tasmania. Heavier falls of between 50 and 150 millimetres are forecast for eastern Victoria and eastern Tasmania.

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 10 May to 17 May 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: 10/05/2018

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

The Bureau of Meteorology report that the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) remains neutral, with atmospheric and oceanic indicators of ENSO all at near average levels. Most international climate models suggest the tropical Pacific Ocean will warm slowly over the coming months, but remain ENSO-neutral for the southern hemisphere winter.

One models indicates central equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures may approach El Niño threshold values during spring, however model outlooks produced during or spanning autumn have a lower accuracy than at other times of the year, and should be viewed with some caution.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral. Half of the surveyed climate models suggest the IOD will remain neutral for winter, while the other half predict a negative IOD. However, the present, above average sea surface temperatures off northwest Australia are a result of reduced cloud cover increasing solar warming. If this pattern persists, a typical negative IOD response, such as more cloud off northwest Australia, is less likely. During negative IOD events, winter–spring rainfall is typically above average over southern Australia (Bureau of Meteorology, ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 8 May 2018).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) decreased during the week ending 10 May 2018 by 64 gigalitres (GL) to 11,013 GL and are at 49 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,148 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 10 May 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 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

10 May 2018

3 May 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

51%

97%

51%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

41%

95%

41%

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 10 May 2018 to $161 per ML. This is an increase of $5 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $134 in May across the whole southern MDB, and $32 during the same month last year.

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 10 May 2018. 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:
04/05/18 – 10/05/18

$160.74

$159.67

$151.81

$178.13

$158.91

$163.83

Last week:
27/04/18 – 03/05/18

$156.05

$155.40

$123.90

$174.29

$155.18

$150.57

April 2018

$133.54

$124.65

$131.26

$157.66

$136.66

$134.20

April 2017

$31.95

$42.99

$42.03

$10.72

$42.52

$35.65

Commodities

Current indicators – 10 May 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate09-MayUS$/A$0.750.76-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.0.741%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf08-MayUS$/t2522472%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20026%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 Gulf09-MayUS$/t179181-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.15913%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburga08-MayUS$/t402409-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.430-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index09-MayUSc/lb93.393.2<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.87.96%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 contract09-MayUSc/lb11.511.5<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.15.5-26%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator03-MayAc/kg clean1,8361,846<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,54419%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator04-MayAc/kg clean1,9521,949<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,56025%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, SA08-MayA$/t2652564%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.19139%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW09-MayA$/t3153102%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.23037%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW09-MayA$/t322320<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.17089%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.07-MayA$/t517512<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.520<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW09-MayA$/t3953862%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.26446%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 Indicator03-MayAc/kg cwt500496<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.644-22%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), Vic04-MayAc/kg cwt448459-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.505-11%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator03-MayAc/kg cwt591602-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.634-7%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 & sellers27-AprAc/kg cwt2692690%303-11% chart
Goat – Eastern States (12.1-16 kg)07-MayAc/kg cwt4644640%658-29%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 Indonesia05-MayAc/kg lwt2802800%330-15%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 East16-Apr$/head119124-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.128-7%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder01-MayUS$/t3,2313,311-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,233<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder01-MayUS$/t1,9991,9134%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,982<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese01-MayUS$/t4,0243,8554%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,66610%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat01-MayUS$/t6,0326,120-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6,185-2%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:
10 May 2018