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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


13 February 2014

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 13 February 2014Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 13 February 2014


The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Summary of key issues

  • During the past week, a monsoon trough has brought heavy rainfall, in excess of 200 millimetres, to the tropical north of Australia.

  • The sustained hot seasonal conditions during the 2013-14 summer combined with long-term rainfall deficiencies have resulted in rapid decline in soil moisture levels across much of south eastern Australia.

  • The 8-day rainfall forecast indicates that widespread rainfall of at least 25 millimetres is likely across most of south eastern and central Australia in the coming week.

  • Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 416 gigalitres this week and are at 58 per cent of total capacity.

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$297 a tonne in the week ending 11 February 2014, compared with US$285 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) rose by 1 per cent in the week ending 12 February 2014 to $359 a tonne.

  • The saleyard prices of lamb rose in most states in the week ending 7 February 2014. The largest increase occurred in South Australia where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) rose by around 12 per cent to average 485 cents a kilogram. In eastern states, prices increased by around 7 per cent in New South Wales to average 496 cents a kilogram and by 1 per cent in Victoria to average 465 cents a kilogram. In contrast, the indicator price fell by 2 per cent in Western Australia to average 453 cents a kilogram.

  • The Queensland young cattle indictor price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) fell by around 3 per cent in the week ending 7 February 2014 to 305 cents a kilogram. Young cattle prices rose by around 5 per cent in New South Wales to 330 cents a kilogram and by around 10 per cent in Victoria to 319 cents a kilogram.

Climate

Notable events

  • During the past week, a monsoon trough has brought heavy rainfall, in excess of 200 millimetres, to the tropical north of Australia, while lighter falls were recorded in coastal Queensland and central Western Australia. In contrast, there was limited rainfall throughout most of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia during the past week.

  • Heatwave conditions have continued in parts of southern Australia, with numerous sustained maximum temperature records broken across the region. There is ongoing bush fire activity in Victoria and South Australia with reports of some losses of livestock and farm infrastructure.

  • The sustained hot weather conditions during the 2013–14 summer combined with long-term rainfall deficiencies have resulted in rapid decline in soil moisture levels across much of south eastern Australia. There are reports of many producers hand feeding and destocking livestock due to depleted pastures, and a further decline in water supplies.

  • The 8-day rainfall forecast indicates that widespread rainfall of at least 25 millimetres is likely across most of south eastern and central Australia in the coming week. If these falls eventuate, they may provide improvement to pasture condition, but are not likely to fully replenish dam water supplies in parched regions of northern New South Wales and western Queensland.

  • Neutral El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions persist across the tropical Pacific Ocean with climate models predicting the neutral conditions to persist until the end of autumn 2014. Some, but not all, climate models indicate central Pacific Ocean temperatures may approach El Niño levels by early winter 2014. (Bureau of Meteorology ENSO ‘Wrap-up’, 11 February 2014).

Rainfall this week

For the week ending 12 February 2014, significant rainfall, between 100 and 400 millimetres was recorded across the tropical north of Australia. Lighter falls of up to 150 millimetres extended down into Queensland and Western Australia. The highest recorded rainfall total for the week was 902 millimetres at Kowanyama Airport, on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula. For further information go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

Rainfall for the week ending 12 February 2014

©Commonwealth of Australia 2014, Australian Bureau of Meteorology            Issued: 12/02/2014

Commodities

Production and commodities

  • The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$297 a tonne in the week ending 11 February 2014, compared with US$285 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$205 a tonne for the week ending 12 February 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$520 a tonne in the week ending 11 February 2014, compared with US$506 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The world cotton indicator price (the Cotlook ‘A’ index) averaged US93.8 cents a pound in the week ending 12 February 2014, around 2 per cent higher than the previous week.

  • According to the Fibre2fashion Company, as at 31 January 2014, India had exported 723 000 tonnes of cotton in the 2013-14 season (August/July), 45 per cent more than the same period a year ago.

  • The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, No. 11 contract) averaged US15.7 cents a pound in the week ending 12 February 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • Data from the China Sugar Association indicates that China’s cumulative sugar production in the first five months of the 2013-14 season (October/September) was around 6.5 million tonnes, compared with 6.7 million tonnes over the same period a year ago.

  • The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) rose by 1 per cent in the week ending 12 February 2014 to $359 a tonne.

  • The Australian feed barley indicator price (Sydney) fell slightly in the week ending 12 February 2014 to $302 a tonne.

  • The Australian feed wheat indicator price (General purpose, Sydney) averaged $315 a tonne in the week ending 12 February 2014, largely unchanged from the previous week.

  • The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) averaged $516 a tonne in the week ending 9 February 2014, compared with $520 a tonne in the previous week.

  • The wholesale prices of selected fruit were generally higher in the week ending 8 February 2014. The wholesale prices of pineapple (smoothleaf), banana (cavendish) and strawberry were higher than the previous week while the prices of avocado (hass) and watermelon (seedless) were lower.

  • Changes to the wholesale prices of selected vegetables were mixed in the week ending 8 February 2014. The wholesale prices of iceberg lettuce and brown onion were higher than the previous week while the prices of cauliflower and tomatoes (field gourmet) were lower.

  • The Queensland young cattle indictor price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) fell by around 3 per cent in the week ending 7 February 2014 to 305 cents a kilogram. Young cattle prices rose by around 5 per cent in New South Wales to 330 cents a kilogram and by around 10 per cent in Victoria to 319 cents a kilogram.

  • Australian beef and veal exports were 26 per cent higher in January 2014 than January 2013 at 70 000 tonnes (shipped weight). Higher exports to the United States, Republic of Korea and China more than offset a decline in exports to Japan.

  • The saleyard prices of lamb rose in most states in the week ending 7 February 2014. The largest increase occurred in South Australia where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) rose by around 12 per cent to average 485 cents a kilogram. In eastern states, prices increased by around 7 per cent in New South Wales to average 496 cents a kilogram and by 1 per cent in Victoria to average 465 cents a kilogram. In contrast, the indicator price fell by 2 per cent in Western Australia to average 453 cents a kilogram.

  • The Australian Eastern Market Indicator price for wool fell by around 2 per cent in the week ending 6 February 2014, to average 1115 cents a kilogram clean. The total number of bales offered at auction was around 28 per cent higher than the previous sale.

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