AWB has a long history of exporting wheat to Iraq over more than fifty years and it is one of our most significant wheat markets, said AWB Managing Director, Andrew Lindberg.
"On behalf of Australian growers, AWB currently supplies the majority of Iraq's wheat requirements through the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food program, and the Iraqi's respect and value the quality of Australian wheat," said Mr Lindberg.
AWB has enjoyed a strong and special relationship with Iraq based on mutual goodwill. As the manager of the Single Desk system, we have maintained the flow of essential food items during some very difficult periods and the fact that this trade has continued through such tough times is testimony to the strength of the relationship that exists between Iraq and AWB, said Mr Lindberg
There have been some recent media reports stating that AWB’s wheat sales to Iraq will be reduced in response to political tensions between the Australian and Iraqi governments.
"AWB takes market issues very seriously, and is obviously concerned about the potential impact on its sales and marketing program. We continue to work closely with both the Australian Government and the Iraqi Government to resolve this issue," said Mr Lindberg.
Historically, AWB sells approximately 2 million tonnes to Iraq each year under the United Nations’ Oil-for-Food Program. For the current marketing year AWB has already shipped about 1.3 million tonnes of wheat to Iraq. In addition, AWB has recently contracted to sell another 500,000 tonnes, bringing total exports for Iraq to 1.8 million tonnes to date.
In line with the Iraqi Minister for Trade’s recent comments, the Iraqi government has informed us that they have put on hold an order for a further 500,000 tonnes.
"We are at present working with the Iraqi government on this matter and are hopeful of being able to find a solution.
"While Iraq is one of Australia’s larger wheat markets, AWB sells to more than 50 countries across the globe, and will continue to work with all our customers as part of our international sales and shipping program.
"Iraq continues to be one of Australia’s major export destinations and AWB, as the Single Desk manager representing Australian growers, will be working with the appropriate authorities to ensure that our trading relationship continues with this important customer," said Mr Lindberg.