Summary of key issues
- Relatively warm temperatures, up to 10 degrees above average across the wheat– sheep zones of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, are likely to have reduced soil moisture levels and resulted in moisture stress for crops and pastures where soil moisture levels were already limited.
- August 2013 rainfall was below average to severely deficient across the central latitudes of Australia.
- August maximum and minimum temperatures were above average across most of Australia, with Australia recording its second warmest August on record.
- Upper layer soil moisture levels across the eastern Australian wheatbelt declined further during August 2013 in response to below average rainfall and well above average temperatures.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have increased by 89 gigalitres this week and are at 83 per cent of total capacity.
- The world coarse grains indicator price (US No. 2 yellow corn, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$231 a tonne for the week ending 4 September 2013, compared with US$266 a tonne in the previous week.
- The Australian Eastern Market Indicator price for wool rose by 5 per cent in the week ending 29 August 2013 to 1064 cents a kilogram clean.
- The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) rose by 1 per cent in the week ending 30 August 2013 to average 317 cents a kilogram.
- Australian beef and veal exports in August 2013 were 98 000 tonnes (shipped weight), 21 per cent higher than August 2012.