Weekly update - 17 May 2018

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

Key issues

  • During the week ending 16 May 2018 little to no rainfall was recorded across much of mainland Australia, with falls being restricted to south-eastern corner of the country.
  • Temperatures continued to be much warmer than average across western areas of Western Australia during the week ending 15 May 2018. Maximum temperatures were generally close to average for the remainder of the country. In contrast, minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C below average across large areas of northern and eastern Australia.
  • Persistent summer-like heat that sets many April records has continued over agricultural regions of Western Australia during the first half of May. Over the past week, warm northerly winds saw many northern agricultural regions record one of their latest days in autumn above 32°C, which is in excess of 10°C warmer than the maximum mean temperature for this time of year. The combination of these well above average temperatures and little to no rainfall during May-to-date is likely to have increased moisture stress in early sown winter cereal, pulse and oilseed crops, and reduced pasture growth and availability.
  • The mid-month climate outlook for winter (June to August) 2018 indicates that there is no strong tendency towards either wetter or drier than average conditions for most of Australia. The main exceptions are in the west of Western Australia, where a drier season is more likely, and in the country's far southeast, where a wetter season is favoured.
  • 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 isolated coastal regions of Queensland and southern Victoria. Heavier falls are forecast for western Tasmania.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 17 May 2018 by 61 gigalitres (GL) to 11,074 GL and are at 49 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,141 GL less than at the same time last year.
  • Allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin increased slightly in the week ending 17 May 2018 to $163 per ML. This is an increase of $1 from the same time last week.

Climate

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Rainfall this week

During the week ending 16 May 2018 little to no rainfall was recorded across much of mainland Australia, with falls being restricted to south-eastern corner of the country. Rainfall totals of between 10 and 50 millimetres were recorded across much of south-eastern New South Wales, southern Victoria, Tasmania and south-eastern agricultural regions of South Australia. Higher totals of between 50 and 200 millimetres were recorded across parts of south-western and alpine regions of Victoria, and much of southern and eastern Tasmania. The highest recorded weekly total was 267 millimetres at Mount Wellington north of Hobart.

Rainfall - week ending 16 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: 16/05/2018

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 much warmer than average across western areas of Western Australia during the week ending 15 May 2018. Maximum temperatures were generally close to average for the remainder of the country. In contrast, minimum temperatures were 2°C to 6°C below average across large areas of northern and eastern Australia.

Persistent summer-like heat that sets many April records has continued over agricultural regions of Western Australia during the first half of May. The warm weather has been brought on by a high-pressure system and a trough of low pressure off the coast producing a north to north-easterly wind flow over western parts of Western Australia. The warm winds saw many northern agricultural regions record one of their latest days in autumn above 32°C, which is in excess of 10°C warmer than the maximum mean temperature for this time of year. The combination of these well above average temperatures and little to no rainfall during May-to-date is likely to have increased moisture stress in early sown winter cereal, pulse and oilseed crops, and reduced pasture growth and availability.

Maximum temperature anomalies for the week ending 15 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: 15/05/2018

Minimum temperature anomalies for the week ending 15 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: 15/05/2018

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

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 climate outlooks

The current outlook reflects the neutral state of broad scale climate drivers, such as El Niño and La Niña and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), meaning they are currently having little influence on Australia's climate. Therefore, there is no strong shift in the outlook towards widespread wetter or drier conditions across most of Australia.

When broad scale drivers are neutral, the climate is often influenced by more local effects, such as the ocean temperature immediately surrounding the continent. Warmer than average temperatures currently in the Tasman Sea and associated low pressure may act to bring more onshore wind and rainfall to eastern Victoria and northeast Tasmania. Westerly winds that flow across southern Australia at this time of year are also likely to be weaker – reducing the chance of rainfall in western Western Australia.

There are roughly equal chances of a wetter or drier than average June for most of the country. Parts of inland Victoria and New South Wales have a moderate chance of a dry start to winter, as does the west of Western Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 May 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall June 2018

 

The rainfall outlook for winter (June to August) 2018 indicates that there is no strong tendency towards either wetter or drier than average conditions for most of Australia. The main exceptions are in the west of Western Australia, where a drier season is more likely, and in the country's far southeast, where a wetter season is favoured. (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 May 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median rainfall June to August 2018

 

The maximum temperature outlook for winter 2018 indicates no strong signal toward either above or below temperatures for much of Australia. Both daytime and night-time winter temperatures are more likely to be warmer than average across southern Australia, while night-time winter temperatures are favoured to be cooler than average in Queensland (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Climate Outlook’, 17 May 2018).

Chance of exceeding the median maximum temperature June to August 2018

 

Chance of exceeding the median minimum temperature June to August 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 isolated coastal regions of Queensland and southern Victoria. Heavier falls of between 50 and 200 millimetres are forecast for western 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 17 May to 24 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: 17/05/2018

Water

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Water availability

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin (MDB) increased during the week ending 17 May 2018 by 61 gigalitres (GL) to 11,074 GL and are at 49 per cent of total capacity. This is 18 percentage points or 4,141 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

On 15 May 2018 NSW Department of Primary Industries – Water announced allocation increases of 4 per cent for NSW Murrumbidgee general security to 45 per cent

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​17 May 2018​10 May 2018

New South Wales

General security

High security

General security

High security

NSW Murray

51%

97%

51%

97%

NSW Murrumbidgee

45%

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 slightly in the week ending 17 May  2018 to $163 per ML. This is an increase of $1 from the same time last week. This contrasts with an average price of $134 in April 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:
11/05/18 – 17/05/18
$162.52$161.07$154.72$182.28$160.25$160.05
Last week:
04/05/18 – 10/05/18
$161.03$159.05$151.91$180.47$158.31$163.80
April 2018$133.57$124.68$131.26$157.70$136.67$134.22
April 2017$31.95$42.99$42.03$10.72$42.52$35.65

Commodities

Current indicators – 17 May 2018

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

Selected world indicator prices

Australian Dollar – AUD/USD Exchange Rate16-MayUS$/A$0.750.750%0.741%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wheat – US no. 2 hard red winter wheat, fob Gulf15-MayUS$/t242252-4%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.19922%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 Gulf16-MayUS$/t180179<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.15814%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Rapeseed, Europe, fob Hamburg15-MayUS$/t4104022%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.430-5%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Cotton – Cotlook 'A' Index16-MayUSc/lb93.093.3<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.90.63%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 contract16-MayUSc/lb11.411.5<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.15.8-28%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Wool – Eastern Market Indicator10-MayAc/kg clean1,8911,8363%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,53423%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Wool – Western Market Indicator11-MayAc/kg clean2,0181,9523%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,52732%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, SA15-MayA$/t2712652%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.19241%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Wheat – General purpose, Sydney, NSW15-MayA$/t3153150%23534%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Feed Barley – Sydney, NSW15-MayA$/t3223220%21153%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Canola – Portland, Vic.14-MayA$/t515517<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease 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, NSW15-MayA$/t3953950%27046%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 Indicator10-MayAc/kg cwt484500-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.634-24%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), Vic11-MayAc/kg cwt4604483%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.530-13%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Lamb – Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator10-MayAc/kg cwt598595<1%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.641-7%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 & sellers04-MayAc/kg cwt260269-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.300-13%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)14-MayAc/kg cwt4844644%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.656-26%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 Indonesia12-MayAc/kg lwt2802800%320-13%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 East14-May$/head95 na116-18%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 powder15-MayUS$/t3,2263,231<1%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points.3,312-3%This is an image of a white arrow in a red circle indicating a decrease in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Skim milk powder15-MayUS$/t2,0471,9992%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.1,9982%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Cheddar cheese15-MayUS$/t4,2054,0244%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.3,72613%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points. chart
Dairy – Anhydrous milk fat15-MayUS$/t6,3546,0325%This is an image of an white arrow in a green circle indicating an increase in percentage points.6,631-4%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:
17 May 2018