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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


06 March 2014

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 6 March 2014Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 6 March 2014


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Summary of key issues

  • Over the past week, rainfall of between 50 and 100 millimetres was recorded across large areas of tropical northern Australia, western Queensland as well as central and coastal New South Wales.

  • During February 2014, most pastoral areas across central and northern Australia recorded average to extremely high rainfall.

  • Long-term rainfall deficiencies have eased somewhat across a large area of western Queensland and adjacent parts of the Northern Territory.

  • However, modelled results indicate that there has been a decline in lower layer soil moisture throughout much of Australia’ wheat/sheep zone during February 2014.

  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin decreased this week by 214 gigalitre (GL) and are at 55 per cent of total capacity.

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$309 a tonne in the week ending 4 March 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) fell by around 3 per cent in week ending 5 March 2014 to $353 a tonne.

  • The Queensland young cattle indictor price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) increased by around 9 per cent in the week ending 28 February 2014 to 326 cents a kilogram. In other states, young cattle prices rose by around 5 per cent in Victoria to 337 cents a kilogram while in New South Wales prices were largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • Australian beef and veal exports reached 100 000 tonnes (shipped weight) in February 2014, around 24 per cent higher than the same month last year. Exports to most major markets increased, including the United States, Japan and China.

Climate

Notable events

  • Over the past week, rainfall of between 50 and 100 millimetres was recorded across large areas of tropical northern Australia, western Queensland as well as central and coastal New South Wales. Maximum temperatures of up to 6 degrees Celsius below average were recorded in a similar north-west/south-east band through Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales during the week.

  • During February 2014, most pastoral areas across central and northern Australia recorded average to extremely high rainfall. In contrast, February rainfall was below average across much of southern Victoria, southeast Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales, and parts of Western Australia.

  • Above average rainfall received in February 2014 has eased rainfall deficiencies somewhat for both the 17 month (October 2012 to February 2014) and 23-month periods (April 2012 to February 2014) across large areas of Western Queensland and adjacent parts of the Northern Territory. However, rainfall across eastern Australia has remained well below average for a significant period of time, and recent rain has not seen this situation significantly improved (Bureau of Meteorology ‘Drought Statement’, 4 February 2014).

  • Despite widespread rainfall during February 2014, model outputs indicate that upper layer soil moisture levels have declined across parts of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, particularly along the coast. Model guidance suggests that while recent rain has increased upper layer soil moisture in parts of the cropping zone and central Queensland, the deeper moisture store is still depleted throughout much of the wheat/sheep zone.

  • The rainfall forecast for the coming week indicates that falls in excess of 50 millimetres are likely across the far north of Australia associated with the monsoon trough. Weather models also indicate that a low pressure has developed in the Coral Sea and is likely to track toward the Queensland coast over the next 8 days, bringing extremely high rainfall to parts of the Queensland coast. The majority of inland Australia is not expected to record any significant rainfall during the week 8 days.

Rainfall this week

For the week ending 5 March 2014, rainfall of between 50 and 100 millimetres was recorded across tropical northern Australia, and in a diagonal band across Northern Territory, most of western Queensland, as well as central and coastal New South Wales. The highest recorded rainfall total for the week was 297 millimetres at Dora Creek, in the Hunter Valley, coastal New South Wales. For further information go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

Rainfall for the week ending 5 March 2014

©Commonwealth of Australia 2014, Australian Bureau of Meteorology            Issued: 05/03/2014

Commodities

Production and commodities

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$309 a tonne in the week ending 4 March 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$220 a tonne in the week ending 5 March 2014, compared with US$216 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$553 a tonne in the week ending 4 March 2014, compared with US$545 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The world cotton indicator price (the Cotlook ‘A’ index) averaged US93.9 cents a pound in the week ending 5 March 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, No. 11 contract) averaged US17.5 cents a pound in the week ending 5 March 2014, around 3 per cent higher than the previous week.

  • Data from China Sugar Association indicates that cumulative sugar production in China in the first six months of the 2013-14 season (October to September) was 9.22 million tonnes, compared with 9.16 million tonnes produced in the same period a year ago.

  • The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) fell by around 3 per cent in week ending 5 March 2014 to $353 a tonne.

  • The Australian feed barley indicator price (Sydney) rose by around 1 per cent in week ending 5 March 2014 to $308 a tonne.

  • The Australian feed wheat indicator price (General purpose, Sydney) fell by around 1 per cent in the week ending 5 March 2014 to $313 a tonne.

  • The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) remained largely unchanged in the week ending 3 March 2014 at $533 a tonne.

  • Changes to the wholesale prices of selected fruit were mixed in the week ending 1 March 2014. The wholesale prices of avocado (hass) and strawberry were higher than the previous week, while the price of pineapple (smoothleaf) was lower.

  • The wholesale prices of selected vegetables were generally lower in the week ending 1 March 2014. The wholesale prices of broccoli, lettuce (iceberg), bean (round), tomato (field gourmet) and pumpkin (grey bulk) were lower than the previous week, while the prices of cauliflower and potato (white) were higher.

  • The Queensland young cattle indictor price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) increased by around 9 per cent in the week ending 28 February 2014 to 326 cents a kilogram. In other states, young cattle prices rose by around 5 per cent in Victoria to 337 cents a kilogram while in New South Wales prices were largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • Australian beef and veal exports reached 100 000 tonnes (shipped weight) in February 2014, around 24 per cent higher than the same month last year. Exports to most major markets increased, including the United States, Japan and China.

  • The saleyard prices of lamb rose in most states in the week ending 28 February 2014. The largest increase occurred in Victoria where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) rose by around 6 per cent to average 532 cents a kilogram. The indicator price rose by around 5 per cent in New South Wales to average 549 cents a kilogram and by around 2 per cent in South Australia to average 493 cents a kilogram. In contrast, the indicator price fell by around 3 per cent in Western Australia to average 477 cents a kilogram.

  • The Australian Eastern Market Indicator price for wool was largely unchanged in the week ending 27 February 2014, averaging 1077 cents a kilogram clean. The total number of bales offered at auction was around 13 per cent lower than the previous sale.

  • The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average price of whole milk powder declined to US$4703 a tonne on 4 March 2014 compared with US$4999 a tonne on 18 February 2014. Over the same period, the prices of anhydrous milk fat and skim milk powder declined by around 4 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. The price of cheese remained largely unchanged from the previous auction.

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