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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


10 January 2013

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 10 January 2013Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 10 January 2013


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Summary of Key Issues

  • Much of Australia has recently experienced extremely hot and dry weather conditions. Bushfires across New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia have burnt out significant areas of bushland, farmland and forests.
  • Harvesting of the 2012–13 winter cereal crops was largely completed before the bushfires started and as a consequence, no significant cereal crop losses are expected.
  • There have been reports of stock and on-farm infrastructure losses but these have not yet been fully assessed.
  • Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA) assistance has been made available to 37 New South Wales Local Government Areas affected by the recent bushfires.
  • The heatwave conditions are forecast to slowly shift north to northern New South Wales and southern Queensland in the coming week.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 529 gigalitres this week and are at 80 per cent of total capacity.
  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$341 a tonne in the week ending 8 January 2013, compared with US$348 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$295 a tonne for the week ending 9 Jan 2013, largely unchanged from the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$613 a tonne in the week ending 8 January 2013, compared with US$619 a tonne in the week ending 21 December 2012.
  • Beef and veal exports increased by 1.5 per cent in 2012 to a record 964 000 tonnes.
  • Australian lamb exports reached a record of 189 000 tonnes shipped weight in 2012, 18 per cent higher than in 2011. Lamb shipments to the Middle East and China rose by 48 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively.
  • Australian mutton exports rose by 30 per cent in 2012 to 107 000 tonnes shipped weight. Mutton exports to the Middle East and China accounted for around 60 per cent of total shipments.

Climate

Notable Events

  • Large parts of central and southern Australia are currently under the influence of a persistent and widespread heatwave event. This event is ongoing with further significant records likely to be set. The last four months of 2012 were abnormally hot across Australia, for the September to December 2012 period, the average Australian maximum temperature was the highest on record with a national anomaly of +1.61°C, slightly ahead of the previous record of 1.60°C set in 2002 (Bureau of Meteorology Special Climate Statement 43 - Interim, 9 January 2013).
  • The heatwave conditions are forecast to slowly shift north to northern New South Wales and southern Queensland in the coming week. The well above average maximum temperatures are forecast to continue for at least the next seven days.
  • Demand for irrigation water has reportedly hit a ten year high in New South Wales as irrigators attempt to protect their crops from recent hot, dry weather. A record two hundred thousand megalitres was delivered to farmers in the Macquarie Valley in December 2012. Heavy rainfall over the 2009–10 and 2010–11 summers have ensured that most dams across south-eastern Australia have adequate supplies of water to meet the high demand.
  • Some irrigated crops are reportedly coping with the recent conditions better than others. Tomato producers are expecting an average harvest with low summer rainfall reducing the level of disease in crops and the hot weather promoting growth. Fruit growers are becoming concerned about the effects of sunburn and the extreme heat “cooking” ripening crops. Grape growers in South Australia are expecting crop losses as grape growth “shuts down” in response to the heat.
  • Graziers are reportedly concerned about the high temperatures and dry weather, especially with the health of livestock. Many regions in eastern Australia are very dry, with stock water and available fodder in decline. Many graziers are expecting that they will have to buy in feed or start to reduce livestock numbers in response to the extreme weather.
  • The recent hot and dry conditions are expected to interrupt the breeding cycle of pests such as fruit flies and mosquitoes which is likely to result in a significant drop in numbers in the next few months.

Rainfall this Week

For the week ending 9 January 2012, rainfall was recorded in all states and territories with falls in excess of 25mm reported in coastal Western Australia, the Top End and Cape York. Falls in southeastern Australia were patchy and generally light. The highest rainfall total for the week was 135 millimetres at Ngayawili in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. For further information, go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

Rainfall for the Week Ending 9 January 2012

©Commonwealth of Australia 2013, Australia Bureau of Meteorology
Issued: 09/01/2013

Commodities

Production and Commodities

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$341 a tonne in the week ending 8 January 2013, compared with US$348 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$295 a tonne for the week ending 9 January 2013, largely unchanged from the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$613 a tonne in the week ending 8 January 2013, compared with US$619 a tonne in the week ending 21 December 2012.
  • The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) averaged $520 a tonne in the week ending 9 January 2013, compared with $523 a tonne in the previous week.
  • Changes to wholesale prices of fruit were mixed in the week ending 5 January 2013. The wholesale prices of watermelon (seedless), strawberry and blueberry were lower while avocado (hass), kiwifruit (Hayward) and pineapple (smoothleaf) prices were higher.
  • The wholesale prices of vegetables were generally lower or unchanged in the week ending 5 January 2013 compared with the previous week. The prices of beans (round), broccoli and cauliflower were all lower.
  • Australian beef and veal exports in December 2012 were 86 000 tonnes (shipped weight), 5 per cent higher than in December 2011. Increased shipments to the United States and China more than offset a decline in exports to Japan. For 2012 as a whole, beef and veal exports increased by 1.5 per cent from 2011 to a record 964 000 tonnes.
  • Australian lamb exports reached a record of 189 000 tonnes shipped weight in 2012, 18 per cent higher than in 2011. Lamb shipments to the Middle East and China rose by 48 per cent and 39 per cent, respectively.
  • Australian mutton exports rose by 30 per cent in 2012 to 107 000 tonnes shipped weight. Mutton exports to the Middle East and China accounted for around 60 per cent of total shipments.

January 2013

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