AWB last week shipped its four millionth tonne of wheat from WA this season, keeping its shipping program well on track despite seasonal challenges and a tough export environment.
AWB General Manager National Pool Sarah Scales said with about 60% of last season’s wheat receivals sold and shipped, the WA export program was progressing well, ahead of what was predicted to be a reduced national harvest this season.
Ms Scales said AWB’s sales and shipping progress was well ahead of other major exporting countries, even in the tough market conditions, because of AWB’s understanding of customer needs and active Pool management.
"While we have seen some positive developments in the market in recent months, demand still remains relatively flat, and we face continued competition from wheat from non-traditional exporters such as India and Pakistan, at prices well below what AWB is prepared to sell for," Ms Scales said.
Ms Scales said AWB was also managing a markedly different crop profile from WA after last season’s harvest, which has required a different approach to the state’s sales and shipping program.
"As growers would be well aware, the past harvest was impacted by wet weather in a number of port zones, which affects crop quality, and therefore our market allocation and the export program must be modified," Ms Scales said.
"While in WA we traditionally operate a front end export program, where the majority of wheat is shipped in the first half of the year, with a different quality profile our program has been tailored differently over the year in order to best meet our customer needs, and maximise returns for growers.
"Our ability to actively manage the export program to achieve the best returns for Pool participants is a great advantage of the Single Desk export system."
Ms Scales said AWB’s active sales and shipping program was constantly changing, depending on markets, production and logistic influences, which also required constant communication with storage and handling provider CBH.
Significant amounts of WA wheat are required to meet long-standing, year round customer demand - such as the Noodle wheat (ASWN and APWT) buyers in Japan and South Korea - whose requirements were WA specific, and who sought consistency of supply in their wheat products.
"Last year, WA growers managed to produce a significantly larger crop than all in the industry were anticipating, which also had to be factored into the export program," Ms Scales said.
"None-the-less, heading into the coming harvest we are well positioned with strategic carryout to ensure consistency of supply for our regular customers and the ability to capitalise on an improved international wheat market, while ensuring a smooth harvest ahead," Ms Scales said.