AWB has secured contracts for one and a half million tonnes of wheat with China.
AWB Limited Managing Director, Andrew Lindberg, said the contracts with the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO), the sole import agent for wheat in China, was a major boost for AWB’s marketing program.
“The one and half million tonnes we have secured builds on the one million tonne contract we signed late last year, and is an excellent result for AWB and Australian wheat growers,” said Mr Lindberg.
“The sale further delivers on our strategy to export more wheat into Asia, capitalising on the inherent quality and logistics strengths the Australian grains industry has in the region.
“A key factor in securing this sale is the industry’s ongoing commitment to quality and our hard earned reputation for delivering on time and to specification,” said Mr Lindberg.
Mr Lindberg said AWB had been working closely with COFCO to build demand for Australian milling wheat in China.
In December last year, AWB announced a sale of one million tonnes to China, the first significant sale to the market since 1996. The two sales mean China has bought 2.5 million tones of Australian wheat from AWB in the past twelve months.
“China is both the largest producer and consumer of wheat in the world, consuming 100 million tonnes of wheat annually,” Mr Lindberg.
“AWB has a long lasting relationship with China spanning more than 40 years, and in the past twelve months, we have been able to capitalise on this following China’s reemergence as a major wheat importer,” Mr Lindberg said.
‘With the world’s largest population we see this as a very important growth market in the future, and we are focused on securing a consistent market share to deliver value for Australian wheat growers,” said Mr Lindberg.
This relationship could be enhanced in the long term by the closer economic and trade ties forged as a result of a Free Trade Agreement between Australia and China.
The shipping program for this contract is underway, and will extend into 2005. The contract will be met with both old and new season wheat.