AWB National Pool is on track to achieve the second largest yearly wheat export program from Australia, shipping more than 19 million tonnes of wheat for the year ending November 30.
The export program of 19.1 million tonnes (mt) will fall just short of AWB’s largest ever 12-month shipping effort, in 1996-97 when it shipped 19.5mt.
General Manager AWB International Sarah Scales said the result meant there was very little remaining stock in the storage and handling system heading into the new season harvest.
“The record crop last season presented AWB’s marketing and logistics teams with a great challenge, and it is testament to their expertise that the task has been managed so well,” Ms Scales said.
“We have worked hard to market, coordinate logistics and ship this near record Pool, and as a result, we have gone into this harvest with relatively low carryout volumes of less than 2mt nationally.
“As part of the marketing program, AWB National Pool has achieved good values for participants, and following the recent one billion dollar distribution, has now made a record level of payment to growers at this stage of the Pool’s life.
“The ability to coordinate the movement of a near record Pool, and obtain good values in the international market for participants, is a major benefit of the wheat marketing system we have in Australia,” Ms Scales said.
The program included a record breaking shipping effort from WA, where, following last year’s record crop, almost 9mt of wheat was loaded and shipped from the state. Three of the state’s four grain export ports also broke individual shipping records.
“A larger than normal proportion of last year’s crop was in WA following their massive harvest. As a result, we have had been pushing the ports in that state to capacity to move the crop,” Ms Scales said.
Ms Scales also acknowledged the performance of bulk handlers, road and rail freight operators and the ports, which had worked co-operatively with AWB in managing the logistics task.
“Wheat producers should feel pleased that the major service providers to their industry have been able to combine to deliver a record result on their behalf,” Ms Scales said.