Summary of key issues:
- During the past week heavy rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres was recorded in coastal and adjacent inland regions of eastern Australia.
- Heavy falls were also recorded during the past week across northern Australia, including areas of northern Queensland that have experienced long-term rainfall deficiencies.
- Significant rainfall is forecast for much of eastern, northern and central Australia in the coming week, with the heaviest falls expected in northern Queensland.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 231 gigalitres this week to 80 per cent of total capacity.
- The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330-400 kg live weight C3) increased to 321 cents a kilogram, by around 5 per cent in the week ending 15 November 2013, compared with this time last week. Young cattle prices also increased in New South Wales and South Australia by around 1 per cent and 6 per cent, respectively.
- Australian beef and veal production was 13 per cent higher in September 2013 than September 2012, at 203 000 tonnes (carcass weight). Production was higher in all states.
- The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average price of cheese increased to US$4584 a tonne on 19 November 2013 compared with US$4380 a tonne on 5 November 2013. In contrast, the price of anhydrous milk fat declined by around 1.6 per cent to US$5255 a tonne. The prices of whole milk powder and skim milk powder remained largely unchanged.
- Saleyard lamb prices rose in most states in the week ending 15 November 2013, compared with this time last week. The largest increase occurred in Western Australia where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) rose by around 2 per cent to average 351 cents a kilogram. In contrast, the indicator price fell by 5 per cent in South Australia to 389 cents a kilogram.
- The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$313 a tonne in the week ending 19 November 2013, compared with US$316 a tonne in the previous week.