Summary of key issues:
- During the past week rainfall was recorded in all states and territories, with the heaviest falls recorded across the north, west and centre of the country.
- Long-term rainfall deficiencies have increased in severity across Queensland, north-eastern South Australia and the Upper Western District of New South Wales.
- The severe heatwave conditions over south-eastern Australia have eased following a cold front and trough in the past week.
- There has been a decline in upper layer soil moisture throughout much of the pastoral and cropping zone of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia during January 2014.
- The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$285 a tonne in the week ending 4 February 2014, compared with US$287 a tonne in the previous week.
- The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) rose by around 4 per cent in the week ending 5 February 2014 to $355 a tonne.
- The Global Dairy Trade weighted average price of whole milk powder increased to around US$5005 a tonne on 4 February 2014 compared with US$4943 a tonne on 21 January 2014
- Saleyard prices of lamb rose in all states in the week ending 31 January 2014. The largest increase occurred in Victoria, where the indicator price (18–22kg fat score 2–4) rose by around 11 per cent to average 460 cents a kilogram.