Aither has announced it would now be releasing a monthly Southern Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) Entitlement Index, providing an overall snapshot of how the market was performing.
Director Chris Olszak said the monthly report was free, to irrigators, investors and other owners of large water portfolios.
““Based on current government estimates of unused water and carryover rules, we anticipate that there will be close to 2,500 GL of water carried into 2017-18 in the Murrumbidgee, Murray and Goulburn systems,” Mr Olszak said.
“This does not include water stored in on-farm or private storage.”
In the first of the reports, Aither found water allocation prices across southern MDB markets were currently at a five year low – and likely to stay that way, for some months.
“These low prices are expected, given the volumes of water that are forecast to be unused at the end of the water year, the positive allocation outlooks for 2017-18 and the current risk of carryover spills.”
Mr Olszak said the research was commissioned by water exchange H2OX, but would be made available widely.
Aither expected southern MDB water allocation prices to be below $50/megalitre (ML), under a wet inflow and rainfall scenario, $40-$70/ML (average inflow and rainfall scenario) and about $100/ML (dry inflow and rainfall). “If we have another year, like we have just had, we can’t see that happening, we can see prices dropping back down again.”
But carryover space was rapidly being exhausted, in both the New South Wales Murrumbidgee and Victorian zones.
The level of water in the dams and good rainfall echoed conditions of 2011.
“That shows how volatile the allocation markets are and how dependent they are on rainfall conditions.”