AWB has suspended discharge of wheat in Iraq following the commencement of hostility in the region and the temporary suspension of the United Nations Oil-for-Food program.
AWB Limited’s Managing Director, Mr Andrew Lindberg, said the company actively managed the risk associated with all wheat contracts and has in place a logistics plan to minimise the risk to Australian wheat growers who have delivered to the AWB National Pool.
“AWB currently has two wheat shipments, carrying 100,000 tonnes of wheat, destined for Iraq and has contingency plans in place to deal with these shipments,” said Mr Lindberg.
“AWB will hold both ships in a safe port zone at Oman until we can resume trade with Iraq either under a revised Oil-for-Food program or other mechanisms which may become available.
“However, we also have the ability to on sell this wheat to another customer if required.
“We will manage the situation to ensure the best outcome for Australian wheat growers,” said Mr Lindberg.
AWB has been lobbying the United Nations, the US Government and the Australian Federal Government to ensure Australia retains its market share of the Iraq export wheat market.
AWB and the Australian wheat single desk system are greatly supported in Iraq which represents a market worth approximately $800 million per annum for the Australia wheat farmer.
“Australian wheat is recognised as a high quality food source for the Iraqi people and the IGB acknowledge this,” said Mr Lindberg.
“The trust and goodwill that has been built up between the people of Iraq and Australia through our 50 year trading relationship in trading wheat should stand Australia’s trade in good stead into the future.
“This was evident by the recent announcement from Iraq that the IGB would resume exports to normal levels out of respect to the Australian people, the Australian farmers and the AWB.
“AWB will fight very hard to ensure the Australian wheat farmers’ interests in Iraq are protected in the period post hostilities,” said Mr Lindberg.
For further information contact:
Peter McBride, AWB Limited, on 03 9209 2174 or 0417 662 451
Ryan McKinlay, AWB Limited, on 03 9209 2324 or 0408 347 282
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