The MV Andromeda, carrying 50,000 metric tonnes of Australian Hard Wheat, recently arrived at Aqaba in Jordan. This is the first Australian wheat shipment destined to Iraq to be discharged in Aqaba following the break of the war.
The 50,000 metric tonnes shipment of high quality Australian white wheat, has been dispatched by AWB Limited under a United Nations contract with the Oil-for-Food program. AWB Ltd is making arrangements with the World Food Program to deliver further wheat supplies in the near future.
The vessel was loaded at the South Australian ports of Port Lincoln and Wallaroo, and had a 24 day voyage to the Arabian Gulf. At the outbreak of hostilities the vessel was anchored in safe waters off the eastern coast of Oman, hoping to continue to its original destination of Umm Qasr in Iraq. The Australian government provided valuable support through AusAid to ensure the vessel remained in the region, prior to a request from the United Nations to transfer the cargo to the newly activated Oil-for-Food program.
Due to safety concerns at the time with the port of Umm Qasr, the World Food Program requested the vessel proceed to Aqaba to discharge the wheat, prior to arrangements being made for flour milling, bagging, delivery and distribution within Iraq. AWB has been providing wheat to Iraq for over 50 years and remains committed to the market for the long term.
AWB Ltd also sent a shipment of 50,860 metric tonnes of high quality wheat on the MV Pearl of Fujairah to Kuwait where it recently completed discharge and has now left the region. The wheat is currently being milled at the Kuwait Flour Mills and flour is already available for distribution to the Iraqi people.
Australian wheat is widely used and recognised throughout the Middle East region as a clean, quality white wheat and AWB has a long standing and fruitful relationship with the Jordanian Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Cleanliness, low moisture and better extraction rates are advantages gained from Australian wheat and these advantages are passed on downstream to millers and bakers in the form of increased yields. The flour derived from Australian Hard Wheat is suitable for the production of a wide range of breads including European style pan breads, and Middle Eastern flat breads.
Last April, Aqaba port was declared by the UN as one of the corridors to deliver humanitarian aide to Iraq.