One million tonnes of wheat to India, continued growth in sales to Indonesia and a focus on reliable, highly valued markets in Japan and South Korea were the highlights of the recently concluded 2005/06 AWB shipping program from Western Australia.
AWB National Pool Manager David Johnson said the major customers for the year ended November 30 2006 included Indonesia, which received 17 per cent of the 7.9 million tonnes of wheat shipped from WA, India (15%), South Korea (13%) and Japan (10%).
“As the National Pool’s Shaping the Future program starts to gain traction increased tonnage flowed to Asian markets such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippine, along with traditional Middle East markets such as Egypt and Iran,” said Mr Johnson.
“Managing WA’s wheat exports this year had thrown up a range of challenges, including the large 2005/06 crop, a lower protein profile compared to previous years, and the decline in 2006/07 crop as the year progressed,” said Mr Johnson.
“In a season of fluctuating fortunes for WA growers the Pool has maintained its focus on maximising their returns, by targeting high-value markets and holding back stocks as the potential for a small Australian wheat crop and rising international prices has been realised,” Mr Johnson said.
Mr Johnson said the small 2006/07 crop would obviously lead to a significantly reduced shipping program for the coming year, which would be supported by a strategic carryover of slightly more than one million tonnes in WA.
“Our strategic focus when supplies are low is to always maintain and support our most quality-discerning premium markets in Japan and Korea. These long standing customers of WA wheat producers provide reliable demand at strong prices and we simply can’t afford to compromise the position of WA growers in these markets,” Mr Johnson said.
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