Weekly update - 14 September 2017

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 13 September 2017 rainfall was restricted to western and far southern parts of Australia, with little to no rainfall recorded across the rest of the country.
  • For the week ending 12 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average across Australia. Minimum temperatures were below average across large parts of eastern, central and northern Australia and above average in Western Australia.
  • The condition of crops at the start of spring varied significantly as a result of rainfall deficiencies during the 2017 winter. In central west New South Wales, crops were moisture stressed at the end of winter and early spring rainfall will be critical to the prospects of these crops. At the start of spring in the north-west cropping region in New South Wales, the south-west cropping region in Queensland and the northern cropping region in Western Australia, crops were generally in very poor condition and it is likely many will not be harvested.
  • The mid-month climate outlook indicates roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier October to December 2017 period for Australia.
  • For the next eight days, rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the north-eastern coast of Queensland, far south-western Western Australia, southern and eastern Victoria, alpine regions of southern New South Wales, and western Tasmania.
  • Most international climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate that while further cooling of the tropical Pacific is likely, neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation conditions are expected to continue during the remainder of 2017.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 14 September 2017 by 148 gigalitres (GL) to 16,845 GL and are at 75 per cent of total capacity. This is 4 percentage points or 858 GL more than at the same time last year.
  • The Victorian share of Hume Dam storage is full and hence water is being redistributed to allow for further allocations to Victorian entitlements. The deduction in carryover water held in spillable water accounts in Victoria will be announced tomorrow, 15 September 2017.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin declined in the week up to 14 September 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system decreased slightly to $122 per megalitre. This is a decrease of $1.60 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $131 in August across the whole southern MDB.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 13 September 2017 rainfall was restricted to western and far southern parts of Australia, while little to no rainfall was recorded across the rest of the country. Rainfall totals between 5 and 50 millimetres were recorded around the Gascoyne region and isolated parts of the South West and South Coastal regions in Western Australia. Similar totals were recorded in eastern South Australia, most of southern and eastern Victoria and isolated parts of south-eastern New South Wales. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 millimetres in western Tasmania, including the highest recorded weekly total of 130 millimetres at Mount Read.

Rainfall - week ending 13 September 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: 13/09/2017

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 12 September 2017 maximum temperatures were generally close to average across Australia. The main exception was central Western Australia where temperatures were 2°C to 6°C above average. Minimum temperatures were below average (-2°C to -8°C) across large parts of eastern, central and northern Australia, and above average (2°C to 6°C) in Western Australia.

Maximum temperature anomalies - week ending 12 September 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: 12/09/2017

Minimum temperature anomalies - week ending 12 September 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: 12/09/2017

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.

Rainfall deficiencies

At the three month timescale (June to August 2017) serious to severe rainfall deficiencies are present across large areas of New South Wales, parts of eastern Queensland, north-western Western Australia, southern South Australia, eastern Victoria, and eastern Tasmania (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 5 September 2017).

The condition of crops at the start of spring varied significantly as a result of rainfall deficiencies during the 2017 winter. In central west New South Wales, crops were moisture stressed at the end of winter and early spring rainfall will be critical to the prospects of these crops. At the start of spring in the north-west cropping region in New South Wales, the south-west cropping region in Queensland and the northern cropping region in Western Australia, crops were generally in very poor condition and it is likely many will not be harvested.

Rainfall deficiencies for the 3 month period 1 June to 31 August 2017

Map showing rainfall deficiencies in Australia for the 3 month period from 1 June to 31 August 2017. 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: 05/09/2017

Mid-month National Climate Outlook

The rainfall and temperature outlooks presented below show the likelihood, represented as a percentage, of experiencing wetter or drier (and warmer or cooler) than median climatic conditions for the given outlook periods. Climate outlooks are generated by the Predictive Climate Ocean Atmosphere Model for Australia (POAMA), a dynamical (physics-based) climate model developed by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric research division.

For further information, go to About the outlook

With the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) neutral, climate influences include a slightly dry influence from the Indian Ocean which is being countered by a slightly wet influence from the Pacific.

Rainfall during October 2017 is more likely to be below average in the Pilbara and the surrounding area, but wetter than average in Tasmania. The remainder of mainland Australia has roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average October (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 14 September 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall October 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The rainfall outlook for October to December 2017 indicates that there are roughly equal chances of wetter or drier 3-months for Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 14 September 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall October to December 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median rainfall. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

The temperature outlook for October to December 2017 indicates that maximum and minimum temperatures are more likely to be above average for the north-western half of Australia and the south-east (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 14 September 2017).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature October to December 2017

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

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature October to December 2017

Map showing chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature. Image provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. Please refer to accompanying text for a more detailed description. 

Rainfall forecast for the next 8 days

Rainfall is expected to be restricted to north-eastern, south-eastern and south-western parts of the country during the next eight days. Totals between 5 and 50 millimetres are forecast for the north-eastern coast of Queensland, far south-western Western Australia, southern and eastern Victoria, alpine regions of southern New South Wales, and western Tasmania.

Total forecast rainfall (mm) for the period 14 to 21 September 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: 14/09/2017

El Niño–Southern Oscillation Update

For the past two months sea surface temperatures have steadily cooled over the central and eastern tropical Pacific, but remain within the neutral El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) range. Most climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology suggest further cooling, but within ENSO-neutral thresholds for the rest of 2017. Two of the eight models indicate that La Niña thresholds may be reached by November 2017 and January 2018, which is generally when ENSO events reach their peak.

The Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is currently neutral and model consensus suggests that this will continue until January 2018. However, two of the six climate models suggest a positive IOD may develop during spring. If a positive IOD eventuated it would likely be short-lived, as IOD events typically break down by December as the monsoon trough moves south towards Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’, 12 September 2017).

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 14 September 2017 by 148 gigalitres (GL) to 16,845 GL and are at 75 per cent of total capacity. This is 4 percentage points or 858 GL more than at the same time last year.

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 14 September 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 allocations

The Victorian share of Hume Dam storage is full and hence water is being redistributed to allow for further allocations to Victorian entitlements. The deduction in carryover water held in spillable water accounts in Victoria will be announced tomorrow, 15 September 2017.

There has been a slight increase in allocation to NSW Gwydir general security allocations by 0.57 per cent.

Allocations at14 September 20177 September 2017

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

20%

97%

20%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

29%

95%

29%

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%

90%

0%

90%

Victoria Goulburn

0%

60%

0%

60%

Victoria Campaspe

7%

100%

7%

100%

Victoria Loddon

0%

60%

0%

60%

Victoria Bullarook

100%

100%

100%

100%

Victoria Broken

0%

27%

0%

27%

South Australia

 

Class 3a/3b

 

Class 3a/3b

South Australia Murray

 

100%

 

100%

(a) General Security A class. (b) General Security B class

Select water allocation percentages in the southern Murray–Darling Basin

 

 

 

 

Water markets

Allocation prices in the southern MDB declined in the week up to 14 September 2017 in most systems. Average prices across the whole southern system decreased slightly to $122 per megalitre. This is a decrease of $1.60 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $131 in August across the whole southern MDB.

There is a negative balance in the Goulburn trade limit preventing trade out of Goulburn to the rest of the 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 14 September 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: 08/09/17 - 14/09/17

$122.06

$101.35

$162.67

$118.41

$130.13

$127.29

Last week: 01/09/17 - 07/09/17

$123.74

$97.13

$163.72

$129.67

$119.36

$129.75

August 2017

$131.27

$110.09

$161.23

$127.75

$136.85

$137.07

August 2016

$111.61

$119.52

$126.31

$98.09

$147.31

$80.97

Commodities

Current indicators – 14 September 2017

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate13-SepUS$/A$0.80.80%0.765%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf12-SepUS$/t2122034%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.18316%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-SepUS$/t1511436%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.150<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg12-SepUS$/t430440-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4251%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index13-SepUSc/lb82.882.1<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.77.57%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 contract13-SepUSc/lb14.214.1<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20.2-30%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicatora31-AugAc/kg clean1,5581,5222%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,32018%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicatora08-SepAc/kg clean1,6001,609<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.1,40714%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, SA12-SepA$/t2172056%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.2113%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW13-SepA$/t2572426%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.23111%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW13-SepA$/t2462316%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.17838%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.04-SepA$/t497507-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.4872%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Grain Sorghum – Sydney, NSW13-SepA$/t3092993%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.20451%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 Indicator07-SepAc/kg cwt542553-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.705-23%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), Vic08-SepAc/kg cwt401406-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.409-2%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator07-SepAc/kg cwt613633-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.6012%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 & sellers01-SepAc/kg cwt2772770%377-27%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)11-SepAc/kg cwt4704700%578-19%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 Indonesia09-SepAc/kg lwt3303203%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.360-8%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 East04-Sep$/head1111083%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.nana chart

Global Dairy Trade weighted average pricesa

Dairy – Whole milk powder05-SepUS$/t3,1003,143-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,79311%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder05-SepUS$/t1,9441,968-1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.2,224-13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese05-SepUS$/t4,1184,0053%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,43620%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat05-SepUS$/t6,4056,1993%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.4,76934%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart

a The Australian Wool Exchange has returned from a six-week recess, previous week price shown for week ended 13 July 2017.

b 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:
14 Sep 2017