Summary of key issues:
- Over the past week, rainfall of between 50 and 100 millimetres was recorded across large areas of tropical northern Australia, western Queensland as well as central and coastal New South Wales.
- During February 2014, most pastoral areas across central and northern Australia recorded average to extremely high rainfall.
- Long-term rainfall deficiencies have eased somewhat across a large area of western Queensland and adjacent parts of the Northern Territory.
- However, modelled results indicate that there has been a decline in lower layer soil moisture throughout much of Australia’ wheat/sheep zone during February 2014.
- The world wheat indicator price (US No. 2 hard red winter, free on board Gulf ports) averaged US$309 a tonne in the week ending 4 March 2014.
- The Australian grain sorghum indicator price (Sydney) fell by around 3 per cent in week ending 5 March 2014 to $353 a tonne.
- The Queensland young cattle indictor price (330 – 400 kg live weight C3) increased by around 9 per cent in the week ending 28 February 2014 to 326 cents a kilogram.
- Australian beef and veal exports reached 100 000 tonnes (shipped weight) in February 2014, around 24 per cent higher than the same month last year.
- Exports to most major markets increased, including the United States, Japan and China.