AWB Limited has bolstered its 2004 international sales and marketing campaign with a near-record sales program to Egypt - one of Australia’s longest held customers and one of the world’s biggest wheat importers.
AWB has to date sold 2.1 million tonnes of Australian wheat to Egypt from the 2003/04 AWB National Pool. The sales are worth approximately $500 million to Australian wheat growers, and represent the largest annual sales program to Egypt for more than 15 years.
AWB Managing Director Andrew Lindberg said sales were for delivery from December 2003 forward, and AWB had already shipped more than 1.3 million tonnes of that wheat to market.
“The sales to Egypt form a key part of our well advanced sales and marketing program, following what was Australia’s largest ever domestic wheat harvest in 2003/04,” Mr Lindberg said.
“Egypt is a significant white wheat buyer, and AWB has maximised its opportunities in what is a very competitive market – especially for soft white wheat.
“These early sales not only add significant immediate value to AWB’s National Pool, but they create a positive ripple effect in terms of our whole marketing and logistics strategy, potentially saving growers millions of dollars in carry charges alone,” Mr Lindberg said.
Mr Lindberg said Australia’s ASW wheat had become a significant component of Egypt’s bread market, due to its high extraction rates and production of bright white flour.
However, in conjunction with its Egyptian customers via its Cairo office, AWB has also been developing a new market for harder, higher protein wheat types.
“Included in our sales to Egypt this year is about 500,000 tonnes of hard wheat, which offers advantages to the customers, and generates further value for the National Pool,” Mr Lindberg said.
Egypt is one of the world largest wheat purchasers, importing about 6 – 7 million tonnes of wheat annually.
Mr Lindberg said due to local milling requirements, demand from Egypt was likely to be higher than average this season, and that AWB is well positioned to capitalise on further demand opportunities for the 2003/04 Pool.