Water prices forecast to remain low for third consecutive year

Water allocation prices in the southern Murray–Darling Basin are likely to remain low for a third consecutive year, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Water Market Outlook.

ABARES Executive Director Dr Jared Greenville said based on the current climate outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology, ABARES considered the wet scenario to be the most likely, with prices expected to fall to $58 per ML.

“In all scenarios the price is forecast to remain well below the annual average of $617 per ML during the last drought in 2019–20,” Greenville said.

“Back-to-back La Niña years have recharged storages and have allowed carryover balances to rebuild. The volume of carryover available in 2022–23 is the highest it’s been in a decade.

“High opening allocations and excellent forecasts for allocations for the rest of the year for all major entitlements will provide a lot of certainty to [producers] in making water management decisions.”

The latest ABARES Water Market Outlook and accompanying dashboard visualisation can be accessed by clicking here.


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