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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


02 April 2013

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 28 March 2013Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 28 March 2013


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Summary of Key Issues

  • There were reports of localised severe weather events in the eastern states over the past fortnight, which have resulted in property damage, fallen trees and power outages.
  • Much of the south west Western Australia cropping zone recorded rainfalls in excess of 10 millimetres this week.
  • Several bushfires have broken out in central Victoria, fanned by the recent strong winds and warm conditions.
  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators across the tropical Pacific Ocean remain at neutral levels. It is likely that this neutral state will continue until the end of the southern hemisphere autumn.
  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 355 gigalitres this week and are at 66 per cent of total capacity.
  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$330 a tonne in the week ending 26 March 2013, compared with US$324 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$623 a tonne in the week ending 26 March 2013, compared with US$611 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) increased by 1 per cent in the week ending 22 March 2013 to 328 cents a kilogram.

Climate

Notable Events

  • There were reports of localised severe weather events in the eastern states over the past fortnight, which have resulted in property damage, fallen trees and power outages. In particular, parts of south east Queensland, northern and central New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania experienced severe storms, hailstorms and/or strong winds, while northern Victoria was affected by mini-tornadoes late last week.
  • The Northern Territory Top End has recorded its heaviest rainfall of the wet season with the return of the monsoon trough. Heavier rainfalls in the region are likely to occur over the next few days as the trough is expected to deepen together with a developing low pressure system.
  • Much of the south west Western Australia cropping zone recorded rainfalls in excess of 10 millimetres this week. Perth has recorded approximately 70 millimetres of rainfall this month, its highest March rainfall in over forty years.
  • Several bushfires have broken out in central Victoria, fanned by the recent strong winds and warm conditions, which had led to some loss of homes and other infrastructure.
  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators across the tropical Pacific Ocean remain at neutral levels. It is likely that this neutral state will continue until the end of the southern hemisphere autumn. The Bureau of Meteorology notes that warm waters around much of Australia may promote increased localised rainfall when coupled with favourable local weather conditions (Bureau of Meteorology ENSO ‘Wrap-up’, 26 March 2013).

Rainfall this Week

For the week ending 27 March 2013, rainfall was recorded in all states, with heavier falls over 25 mm in the eastern states, northern Australia and south west Western Australia. Parts of Tasmania, Cape York and Arnhem Land recorded falls in excess of 150 millimetres. The highest rainfall total for the week was 316 millimetres at Topaz, south of Cairns in Queensland. For further information, go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

Rainfall for the Week Ending 27 March 2013

©Commonwealth of Australia 2013, Australia Bureau of Meteorology
Issued: 27/03/2013

Commodities

Production and Commodities

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$330 a tonne in the week ending 26 March 2013, compared with US$324 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$313 a tonne for the week ending 27 March 2013, remaining largely unchanged from the previous week.
  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$623 a tonne in the week ending 26 March 2013, compared with US$611 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) averaged $573 a tonne in the week ending 27 March 2013, compared with $538 a tonne in the previous week.
  • The world cotton indicator price (the Cotlook ‘A’ index) averaged US 94.4 cents a pound in the week ending 27 March 2013, around 3 per cent lower than in the previous week.
  • China’s National Development and Reform Commission has announced a cotton import quota of 894 000 tonnes for 2013, of which 33 per cent will be added to the national reserve.
  • The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, No. 11 contract) averaged US18 cents a pound in the week ending 27 March 2013, almost 3 per cent less than in the previous week.
  • The Brazil Sugar Industry Association data shows sugar’s share of total cane production in Brazil’s Centre South region (which produces around 90 per cent of Brazil’s sugarcane) increased by 2.3 percentage points to 49.5 per cent in 2012–13, while ethanol’s share fell to 50.5 per cent.
  • The EU Agriculture Council consisting of EU Farm Ministers on March 19 voted to delay the abolition of national sugar production quotas and minimum sugar beet prices until 30 September 2017.
  • Exceptionally dry seasonal conditions have been affecting milk production in the North Island of New Zealand, where all agricultural regions have now been drought declared. The North Island accounts for 61 per cent of milk production. New Zealand milk production was around 5 per cent lower year-on-year for the month of February 2013. However, milk output for the eight months ending February 2013 was 5 per cent higher year-on-year.
  • The changes to wholesale prices of fruit were mixed in the week ending 23 March 2013. Wholesale prices of strawberry and avocado (hass) were higher, while watermelon (seedless), blueberry and banana (cavendish) were lower than the previous week.
  • The changes to wholesale prices of vegetables were mixed in the week ending 23 March 2013. Wholesale prices of iceberg lettuce, cauliflower and tomato (field gourmet) were higher, while bean (round), broccoli and pumpkin (grey bulk) were lower than the previous week.
  • The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) increased by 1 per cent in the week ending 22 March 2013 to 328 cents a kilogram. Compared to the previous week, young cattle prices in Victoria increased by 2 per cent to 357 cents a kilogram while young cattle prices in New South Wales fell by 1 per cent to 361 cents a kilogram.
  • Saleyard lamb prices declined in the week ending 22 March 2013. The largest fall occurred in South Australia where the lamb indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) declined by around 8 per cent to average 391 cents a kilogram.
  • Higher lamb prices since the beginning of 2013 has resulted in saleyard indicator prices rising toward 2012 levels in most states. For example, the Victorian saleyard indicator price for lamb has increased by 33 per cent since early January 2013.
  • The Australian Eastern Market Indicator price for wool fell by 1.5 per cent in the week ending 21 March 2013 to 1081 cents a kilogram clean. The total number of bales offered at sale increased by 8 per cent, compared with previous week.

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