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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


21 December 2012

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 20 December 2012Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 20 December 2012


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Summary of Key Issues

  • Despite hot and dry spring conditions, access to sufficient irrigation water has reportedly maintained average growing conditions for wine grape growers in the Murray Valley region.
  • The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting drier than normal conditions across parts of eastern Australia over the next three months (January to March 2013).
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 396 gigalitres this week and are at 86 per cent of total capacity.
  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$355 a tonne in the week ending 18 December 2012, compared with US$367 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$308 a tonne for the week ending 19 Dec 2012, compared with US$318 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$626 a tonne in the week ending 18 December 2012, compared with US$630 a tonne in the previous week.
  • Most fruit wholesale prices were steady or lower in the week ending 15 December 2012 but movements of vegetable wholesale prices were mixed. However, in the lead up to Christmas, consumers are benefiting from vegetable prices that are generally lower than at the same time in 2011.
  • The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) fell by 5 per cent to 388 cents a kilogram in the week ending 14 December 2012.
  • The Australian Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) wool price fell by 1 per cent in the week ending 13 December 2012 to 1072 cents a kilogram clean.

Climate

Notable Events

  • Favourable seasonal conditions have reportedly resulted in abundant supplies of high quality fruits and vegetables this season, with rockmelons, watermelons, cherries, rambutans and stonefruit all in good supply for Christmas.
  • The Murray Valley Winemakers Association has reported that despite hot and dry spring conditions, access to sufficient irrigation water has maintained average growing condition in the region.
  • There have been numerous reports this week of localised fires across Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria causing various issues for primary producers. In southern New South Wales, a fire just north of Boorowa has reported burnt more than 3000 hectares of farmland, damaging kilometres of fencing and resulting in stock losses in excess of 500. While in northern Queensland fires have swept across 20 properties covering almost quarter-of-a-million hectares in the Etheridge and Croydon shires. This has reportedly led to an increased demand for supplementary fodder due to a lack of usable grazing land.
  • Neutral El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions are predicted to persist at their current level through the remainder of the southern hemisphere summer. Unlike the previous two summers, ENSO is not expected to have a strong influence on Australian rainfall and temperatures (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’ 18 December 2012).
  • The national rainfall outlook for the next three months (January to March 2013) indicates drier than normal conditions across parts of eastern Australia. There is no strong signal for wetter than or drier than normal condition for the remainder of the country (Bureau of Meteorology ‘National Seasonal Rainfall Outlook’ 18 December 2012).

Rainfall this Week

For the week ending 19 December 2012, rainfall was recorded in all states and territories. Moderate to heavy falls were recorded across much of northern Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. The highest rainfall total for the week was 211 millimetres at Yourdamung Lake, about 50 km east of Bunbury in Western Australia. For further information, go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

Rainfall for the Week Ending 19 December 2012

©Commonwealth of Australia 2012, Australia Bureau of Meteorology
Issued: 19/12/2012

Commodities

Production and Commodities

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$355 a tonne in the week ending 18 December 2012, compared with US$367 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$308 a tonne for the week ending 19 Dec 2012, compared with US$318 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$626 a tonne in the week ending 18 December 2012, compared with US$630 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) averaged $535 a tonne in the week ending 17 December 2012, compared with $546 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world cotton indicator price (the Cotlook ‘A’ index) averaged US 83.9 cents a pound in the week ending 19 December 2012, around 2 per cent higher than the previous week.
  • According to the China National Cotton Reserve Corporation, the Chinese Government had purchased 61.6 per cent of the 2012-13 domestic cotton crop as at 14 December 2012. At around 4.3 million tonnes, the volume purchased this year is around 38 per cent larger than the total volume purchased in 2011-12.
  • The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, No. 11 contract) averaged US19.1 cents a pound in the week ending 19 December 2012, around 1 per cent higher than the previous week.
  • According to the Indian Sugar Mills Association, India had produced 4.91 million tonnes of sugar (white value) to 15 December in the 2012-13 (October 2012 to September 2013) season, up slightly from the same time last year.
  • Apart from watermelon, the wholesale prices of most fruit were steady or slightly lower in the week ending 15 December 2012.
  • The wholesale prices of potato (white washed), broccoli and tomato (field gourmet) were higher in the week ending 15 December 2012, but prices of bean (round stringless), cauliflower were lower compared to last week. Vegetable wholesale prices are mostly lower than at the same time in 2011 but the prices of potato (white washed) and onion (brown) and cabbage (ballhead loose) are higher compared to last year (figure A).
  • The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) fell by around 5 per cent to 338 cents a kilogram in the week ending 14 December 2012. Young cattle prices in New South Wales and South Australia were higher compared to the previous week.
  • Saleyard prices of lamb rose in all states except Western Australia in the week ending 14 December 2012. In Victoria, the lamb indicator price (18-22kg fat score 2-4) rose by around 5 per cent to 326 cents a kilogram while prices in South Australia and New South Wales both increased by 3 per cent to 352 cents and 351 cents a kilogram, respectively. In Western Australia, the indicator price declined by 2 per cent to 267 cents a kilogram.
  • The Australian Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) wool price fell by around 1 per cent in the week ending 13 December 2012 to 1072 cents a kilogram clean. The total number of bales offered at auction increased by 21 per cent compared with the previous sale week.
  • The Global Dairy Trade weighted average price of cheese increased to US$3510 a tonne on 18 December 2012 compared with US$3372 a tonne on 4 December 2012. For other dairy products, the skim milk powder price increased by 1.7 per cent to US$3419 a tonne while whole milk powder and anhydrous milk fat prices declined slightly to US$3147 and US$3180 a tonne, respectively.

December 2012

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