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End of season water trading

From late May, water markets across the southern Murray-Darling Basin will begin closing, with Murray Irrigation Limited in New South Wales the first of the major Murray-connected markets to close.

By the end of May, all New South Wales markets in the southern Basin will be closed to temporary trading, with the exception of Western Murray Irrigation and Murrumbidgee Irrigation, where internal trading will remain open until mid June.

Victoria’s Goulburn-Murray Water and Lower Murray Water have asked that all interstate trades be submitted by June 2 and within Victoria trades by June 16. In South Australia, temporary trading will close for the season on June 30.

According to Waterfind, Australia’s only quality certified water broker, much of the water being bought into Victoria and South Australia this year has come from New South Wales Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers.

Approximately 1093GL of water is currently allocated to NSW high and general security water licences. When these markets close for the 2008–09 season, the volume of potential supply may decrease.

Waterfind operations manager Dr. Mark Siebentritt says “temporary water has traded for around the $350/ML mark since mid to late March.”

“The market seems to have settled for the time being between $340-$350/ML, however, we are still seeing some variability in prices outside this range.”

Many growers are already balancing their accounts in preparation for the season close, which may reduce the degree of last minute water purchasing at the end of the season.

Closing dates and carryover rules differ between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, and can therefore have a varied impact on buying and selling behaviour across the market.

Dr. Siebentritt says it is important that growers are aware of the various rules and how those rules may affect their water trading requirements in the final months of the 2008–09 season.

For specific information on closing dates in your area, contact Waterfind or your local water authority.

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