Summary of key issues:
- During the past week rainfall was recorded in all States and Territories, with the heaviest falls recorded across the north and east of the country.
- Spring 2013 rainfall was well below average to severely deficient in a large part of the pastoral zone in eastern and central Australia.
- Parts of northern New South Wales and western Queensland recorded well below average rainfall during spring for their second straight year.
- Water storage levels in the Murray–Darling Basin decreased this week by 249 gigalitre and are at 76 per cent of total capacity.
- The Global Dairy Trade weighted average price of skim milk powder was around US$4791 a tonne on 3 December 2013, a rise of around 4.5 per cent from mid-November.
- The Queensland young cattle indicator price (330-400 kg live weight C3) increased by around 3 per cent in the week ending 29 November 2013 to 339 cents a kilogram. Young cattle prices also increased by 1 per cent in New South Wales to 338 cents a kilogram and by 5 per cent in Victoria to 337 cents a kilogram.
- Australian beef and veal exports were 99 800 tonnes (shipped weight) in November 2013, 11 per cent higher than November 2012. Beef and veal exports to the United States and China increased while exports to Japan fell.
- The saleyard prices of lamb increased in all states in the week ending 29November 2013. The largest increases occurred in Tasmania and New South Wales where the indicator price (18- 22kg fat score 2–4) increased by around 5.5 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively, to average 445 cents a kilogram and 403 cents a kilogram.
- The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$318 a tonne in the week ending 3December 2013, compared with US$314 a tonne in the previous week.