January close for AWB wheat pools

The West Australian

AWB will close all AWB 2012-13 wheat pools in WA, South Australia and eastern Australia at 5pm (EST) on Thursday, January 31.

AWB's Richard Williams said by closing the pools the organisation could execute its sales and shipping program with certainty around the volumes and quality available for sales.

"This will enable us to effectively market our pool's wheat and ensure our pool returns to farmers are competitive," Mr Williams said.

"Our pool strategy is focused on selling a large proportion of the pool wheat volumes in advance of the northern hemisphere crop coming online in the middle of 2013.

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"As previously announced, AWB will be finalising the 2012/13 wheat pools by the end of November 2013 - three months ahead of schedule."

AWB has also updated its estimated pool returns (EPRs) for the AWB 2012-13 wheat pools, with the majority of EPRs decreasing because of a continual softening in global milling wheat values, significant falls in US wheat futures and a reduction in Australian wheat cash values since its last revision.

As of Tuesday, benchmark grade APW2 was $348 a tonne (free on board, excluding goods-and- services tax) and noodle-grade ANW1 $383 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the Western pool, APW1 was at $337 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the Eastern pool and APW1 $334 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the SA pool.

Mr Williams said Australian wheat values had held up relatively well given the significant falls in US wheat futures.

He said the result was indicative of a tighter global balance sheet and requirement for Australian wheat in the world market.

"We expect international wheat prices and the market to be subdued until there is a clearer picture on the northern hemisphere weather market in March-April this year," Mr Williams said.

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