Warmer than normal waters in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have drastically changed the outlook for summer growing regions from the previous month (when it was pegged at a 70% chance of exceeding the norm). Elsewhere across the country a fairly benign summer is forecast. High pressure systems are expected to dominate throughout January, with reduced cloud cover allowing heat to build over the country. Although the Southern Oscillation Index (-7.4 in Dec) has dipped over the past month, conditions are expected to bounce around neutral reading for the next couple of months. The tropical system that spawned Cyclone Evans made readings drop to –50 during the middle of the month.
With temperatures nudging 40°C in southern QLD the other week (10°C above the mean) the flowering sorghum crops finally had some reprieve. There were two rainfall events over the last week, first on the Friday in the northern Down and secondly on Tuesday which was more widespread. Roma 31mm, Dalby 81mm, Toowoomba 35mm and Goondiwindi 26mm. Majority of winter crop has been harvested in NSW, with some scattered rain dragging out harvest in later paddocks. Only 55kt was delivered into Graincorp over the past week (-65% from last week), with most of this volume being from the southern part of the state. ASW continued to makes up the majority of wheat received, especially in the Murrumbidgee region, which had an average of 309mm during the first three months of the year. Sorghum growing regions had some handy rain over the last week (Moree 34mm, Narrabri 14mm, Tamworth 100mm and Quirindi 49mm), however more is needed to make up for the previous months of rainfall deficits.
193kt was received into VIC Graincorp the past week, which was a 42% decline from the previous week. All regions have finished harvest, apart from the South West, where the wheat harvest is in its first week. Feedback form the paddock that ASW is the most common grade being received. Apart from the extreme south east, harvest would be finished in SA. Compared to the previous two years it was a fairly uninterrupted harvest, with no major weather delays or downgrades. No receival information from Viterra this week, however weekly receivals would be estimated at 215kt. Remaining tonnage trickling in will be from on farm storage. Quality has been excellent, with very little GP or FED received.
As of last Friday, WA received 686kt into CBH, which was a 18% decrease from the previous week. This would equate to 94% of expected CBH receivals for the harvest. Warm and dry conditions have prevailed for the last two weeks, which will mean the growers most affected by rain earlier in the month will finish up over the next couple of days. Thanks to the harvest running ahead of schedule and prior excellent quality, only an estimated 10 - 12% of the crop will be GP/FED. There will be a busy canola export program in 12/13 after a record canola crop.