AWB Limited Chief Executive Andrew Lindberg today announced the strongest opening estimate ever for its National Pool, in releasing the first APW estimate for the season 2002/2003.
Speaking at the annual ABARE Outlook conference in Canberra, Mr Lindberg said AWB had estimated growers would receive between $230 - $240 per tonne (FOB, GST exclusive) for Australian Premium White (APW) at 10 percent protein.
“This is a good result for wheat growers, and the wheat industry, however it is only an estimate and is at the early stages of forecasting,” Mr Lindberg said.
“Regarding durum, AWB estimates growers will receive between $295 - $305 per tonne (FOB, GST exclusive) for DR1 for the 2002/2003 harvest. This estimate is lower than last year’s due to expectations of increased production in Canada, the US and EU.
“Looking ahead to the coming marketing year, we expect world wheat prices to come under more pressure, but with the single desk system in place, we are confident of being able to maximise returns for Australian wheat within what will become a more competitive trading environment,” said Mr Lindberg.
Mr Lindberg said support for prices into the new marketing season had stemmed from a tightening world stock level, increasing world consumption and the possible entry of China into the import market.
“However, balancing that are expectations of far greater competition from major exporters to complement the continued supply from minor exporters, and a potential for a weaker basis due to a return to more normal growing conditions in the US,” said Mr Lindberg.
Mr Lindberg said AWB issued its APW Pool estimate to enable growers to make important crop and varietal decisions for the coming winter season. Australian Premium White is AWB’s benchmark wheat grade, as it is the largest binning line and varietal pool in Australia.
“Obviously this is only an estimate and is subject to changes in the marketplace, but it is made on the best forecasts of AWB (International) Limited, and the fact that it is the highest opening Pool equity AWB has ever been able to offer is a positive reflection on the performance of the AWB Limited, and the single desk it manages,” said Mr Lindberg.
AWB is expecting to issue estimates for the full range of varietal pools in May.
Mr Lindberg said despite slow export demand in the market at present, AWB Limited was also making good progress with the sales and shipping program of the big Australian wheat crop produced in 2001/02.
In his Outlook speech, Mr Lindberg stressed the importance of an efficient agribusiness sector for Australian grain growers, to help combat the inherent production and trade hurdles they face within the global wheat market.
“The industry needs to continually strive for efficiency, and for its part, AWB will aggressively pursue all opportunities for a fully integrated business structure for the industry in order to achieve those efficiencies,” Mr Lindberg said.