Summary of key issues:
- Much of Australia has recently experienced hot, dry and gusty weather conditions. Bushfires across eastern New South Wales have burnt out significant areas of bushland, forests and some farmland.
- During the past week heavy rainfall in excess of 25 millimetres was recorded in southern Victoria and South Australia which has reportedly delayed the start of the grain harvest in some regions.
- The Bureau of Meteorology’s seasonal outlook suggests a higher than average chance of a hot and dry November–January 2013–14 period for north-eastern Australia.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 144 gigalitres this week to 82 per cent of total capacity.
- The world canola indicator price (Rapeseed, Europe, free on board Hamburg) averaged US$524 a tonne in the week ending 22 October 2013, compared with US$515 a tonne in the previous week.
- The world sugar indicator price (Intercontinental Exchange, nearby futures, no. 11 contract) averaged US19.3 cents a pound in the week ending 23 October 2013, the highest weekly price in almost 11 months.
- Saleyard lamb prices fell in most states in the week ending 18 October 2013. The largest fall occurred in Victoria where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) fell by 8 per cent to average 385 cents a kilogram.