| ||Australian Wheat Flows to Iraq|| ||
The AWB delegation in Iraq today announced that an agreement has been reached with the Iraqi Grains Board (IGB) to resume unloading of vessels currently held up in Iraqi waters.
AWB Limited’s Managing Director, Mr Andrew Lindberg, said quality issues have now been resolved with the IGB following an extensive inspection of the vessels involved at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr.
"This outcome will ensure that all shipments under the current contract can now proceed with confidence," said Mr Lindberg.
"This is a very successful outcome for both parties given this trade is vitally important for the Australian wheat farmer and the Australian economy," said Mr Lindberg.
The delegation in Iraq is headed Mr Andrew Lindberg who stated that AWB has been warmly welcomed and the IGB recognises the value of the Single Desk in having one Australian marketer of bulk wheat exports.
"The Single Desk enables us to develop long-term commercial relationships with our international customers to the benefit of Australian wheat exports," said Mr Lindberg.
"Australian wheat is recognised as a high quality food source for the Iraqi people and the IGB acknowledge this.
"The resolution of these issues will secure current contracts of some 500,000 tonnes worth approximately two hundred million dollars to the Australian wheat growers.
"This successful outcome has now cleared the way for further discussions with the IGB for calendar year 2003," said Mr Lindberg.
Historically, AWB sells approximately two million tonnes to Iraq each year under the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food program.
For the current marketing year AWB has already shipped approximately 1.3 million tonnes of wheat to Iraq. This resumption of trade will ensure AWB exports 1.8 million tonnes to Iraq in 2002.