WELL if you are feeling the pinch in this heat, you have every reason to, as last week the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that January 2019 was Australia’s hottest-ever month, going as far back as 1910.
Some of the records broken include: the highest minimum temperature of 35.9 degrees Celsius at Noona Station, between Cobar and Wilcannia and the highest mean temperature averaged across the country, which exceeded 30 degrees Celsius for the entire month of January.
To compound this excessive heat, the north-east of the state has had a particularly dry month.
There are reports from Macquarie Valley cotton growers that they plan to shut down cotton crops early due to lack of water to finish them to a high standard.
This may prove wise as the Bureau of Meteorology’s three-month outlook from February to April points to temperatures remaining warmer and drier than average, particularly in the west of the state, and the country.
In international news, last week saw the partial end to the US Government shutdown, which means we should start to receive key reports the market uses for direction.
The main report will be the US Department of Agriculture World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates due for release on February 8.
Having said that, the end to the shutdown could be short lived, as US president Donald Trump has stated if he does not secure funding for his wall there will be another shutdown commencing February 15.
Last week we also saw the world wheat supply baton passed to France and Romania, when they won the latest Egyptian tender for 360,000 tonnes.
This confirmed recent chatter that Russian wheat prices were increasing domestically, which would leave them unable to compete in export business.
Wheat market commentators thought this demand would be passed to the US, although they had the lowest offers on a free-on-board basis, the freight leg from the US to Egypt meant they were a more expensive origin than both France and Romania.
On home soil we have seen the increased heat in January take the shine off what looked to be a promising sorghum crop.
The early planted sorghum (September/October) has done well from all reports, however the later planted sorghum (December/January), which makes up the majority of the crop faces an uphill battle to make an average yield this season.
Forecasters are talking a sub 1.5 million tonne crop.
This would leave a big hole for winter crop to fill, and at the moment it is looking further and further away.