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Australian Weekly ABARES Report


13 September 2012

Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 12 September 2012Australian Weekly ABARES Report - 12 September 2012

According to the September edition ABARES Australian Crop Report, winter crops in Australia face mixed prospects across the country heading into spring, reflecting varied winter rainfall and soil moisture conditions.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences

Climate

Following lower than average winter rainfall, an above average number of frosts and a dry September, grain and canola crops in south-west New South Wales and north-west Victoria require sufficient and timely spring rainfall to reach maximum yield potential.

Favourable seasonal conditions in central Australia have resulted in high numbers of young bulls becoming available for export. A large shipment has recently been mustered from around Alice Springs and Northern New South Wales for export.

While sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain close to El Niño values, most other indicators, such as trade winds and tropical cloud patterns are well within the neutral range. Climate models suggest that sea surface temperatures are likely to remain close to El Niño values until the end of 2012.

The Indian Ocean Dipole has been showing values consistently above positive for the last seven weeks and are likely to stay positive over spring. Positive values generally favour lower than average spring rainfall in southern, central and northern Australia (Bureau of Meteorology ‘ENSO Wrap-Up’ 11 August 2012).

Rainfall

For the week ending 12 September 2012, there was little or no rainfall across most of Australia. Frontal systems produced rainfall across southern areas of Australia during the week. The highest total recorded rainfall for the week was 220 mm at Mount Read in western Tasmania. For further information, go to www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml.

The rainfall forecast below is produced from computer models. As it contains no input from weather forecasters, it is important to also check local forecasts and warnings by the Bureau of Meteorology.

Water

Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin increased by 135 gigalitres (GL) this week and are at 97 per cent of total capacity. This is 10 percentage points or 2228 GL more than this time last year.

Commodities

The world wheat indicator price (US no. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$365 a tonne in the week ending 11 September 2012, compared with US$366 a tonne in the previous week.

The world coarse grains indicator price (US no. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$326 a tonne for the week ending 5 September 2012, compared with US$335 a tonne in the previous week.

The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$660 a tonne in the week ending 11 September 2012, compared with US$654 a tonne in the previous week.

The world cotton indicator price (the Cotlook ‘A’ index) averaged US 85.2 cents a pound in the week ending 12 September 2012, 1.3 per cent higher than in the previous week.

The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no. 11 contract) averaged US19.4 cents a pound in the week ending 12 September 2012, largely unchanged from previous week. The United States Department of Agriculture has set the 2012–13 tariff free sugar quotas at 1.1 million tonnes, the minimum amount to which the United States is committed under its World Trade Organisation obligations.

Winter crops in Australia face mixed prospects across the country heading into spring, reflecting varied winter rainfall and soil moisture conditions. Overall, winter crop production is forecast to be lower than the record harvest of last season, reflecting dry conditions in Western Australia and parts of south-eastern Australia. In contrast, conditions have been more positive in New South Wales and Queensland, where crops are forecast to achieve above average yields.

Total winter crop production is forecast to be 36.2 million tonnes in 2012–13, around 20 per cent lower than last year’s record production, but 17 per cent above the five-year average to 2010-11.

For the major winter crops, wheat production is forecast to fall by 24 per cent to around 22.5 million tonnes; barley production is forecast to fall by 19 per cent to around 7.0 million tonnes; and canola production is forecast to fall by 2 per cent to around 2.8 million tonnes.

Although wheat production is forecast to fall, the supply of wheat in Australia is forecast to remain high with stocks estimated to be around 11.5 million tonnes at the beginning of August 2012, around double what these were in August 2009, reflecting significantly high production in the past two seasons.

Australian wheat exports in July 2012 totalled 2.3 million tonnes, the eighth consecutive month when exports have exceeded 2 million tonnes.

The Australian canola indicator price (Portland, Victoria) averaged $530 a tonne in the week ending 10 September 2012, largely unchanged from the previous week.

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