Summary of key issues:
- During the past week rainfall of between 15 and 100 mm was recorded across some parts of eastern Australia.
- Lightning strikes have reportedly caused a number of fires across South Australia and Victoria in the past 24 hours.
- Grape and citrus producers in south east Australia are concerned about the extreme hot weather conditions affecting fruit quality only weeks away from harvest.
- High temperatures across large parts of the country are likely to further deplete on farm water storages and increase water demand for irrigated crops.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin have decreased by 468 gigalitres this week and are at 66 per cent of total capacity.
- The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$289 a tonne in the week ending 14 January 2014, compared with US$291 a tonne in the previous week.
- The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) averaged 329 cents a kilogram in the week ending 10 January 2014, 2 per cent lower than the last sale in December 2013.
- There were mixed movements in the saleyard prices of lamb in the week ending 10 January 2014, compared with the last sale prices in December 2013.
- The wholesale prices of selected fruit were generally higher in the week ending 11 January 2014.