ABARES issues forecast for southern MDB prices

Grain Central, April 24, 2023

Rice is one of the main crops grown on irrigation in the Murray-Darling Basin. Photo: SunRice Growers Services

WATER allocation prices in the southern Murray-Darling Basin are likely to remain low for a fourth consecutive year, according to the latest ABARES Water Market Outlook.

In a statement released April 13, ABARES executive director Jared Greenville said based on the current climate outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology, ABARES considers the average scenario to be the most likely.

This means prices are expected to increase to $80 per megalitre across the southern basin in 2023-24, up from $29/ML in 2022-23.

This compares to an average annual price of $218/ML over the past 10 years.

“The run of La Niña years is set to come to an end, with the BOM reporting a 50pc chance of an El Niño event developing in 2023-24,” Dr Greenville said.

“However, the shift to drier conditions is likely to be offset by high storages that have been built up over the past three years.

“High opening allocations and an exceptional allocation outlook for 2023-24 will translate into high water availability and provide a lot of certainty for irrigators making planting and water management decisions.

“Low water allocation prices and high water availability will continue to support irrigated agricultural production in 2023-24.”

The latest ABARES Water Market Outlook and accompanying dashboard visualisation can be found on the Water Market Outlook web page.

Source: ABARES


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