Summary of key issues:
- Rainfall in excess of 50 millimetres has been recorded in a number of drought affected areas across central and southern Queensland during the past 24 hours. Further rainfall is forecast for the region with thunderstorm activity expected to continue over the next few days.
- Ex-Tropical Cyclone Christine brought heavy rainfall to central and northern Western Australia over the Christmas period.
- 2013 was Australia’s warmest year since records began in 1910, with all states and the Northern Territory ranked in the four warmest years on record.
- Australia's rainfall in 2013 was 37 millimetres below the long-term average, placing it near the middle of historical observations.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 656 gigalitres this week and are at 68 per cent of total capacity.
- Australian beef and veal exports were 96 000 tonnes (shipped weight) in December 2013, 12 per cent higher than December 2012. Increased exports to the Republic of Korea and China more than offset a decline in exports to Japan and the United States.
- The Global Dairy Trade (GDT) weighted average price of anhydrous milk fat fell to US$5538 a tonne on 7 January 2014, 2 per cent lower than the weighted average price from the previous trading event on 17 December 2013.
- The wholesale prices of selected fruit and vegetables were generally lower in the week ending 4 January 2014.