November 15, 2011
Western Australia's CBH Group had sold 150,000 tonnes of Australian Prime White (APW) grade wheat to Saudi Arabia, it said on Monday (Nov 14).
The first 50,000-tonnes cargo this year, with a protein content of around 11.15%, has been loaded in Australia's leading grain exporting state. The business was won under a global tender issued in August, a company official said.
"Western Australian wheat is competitively priced in this market and is in a good position to supply," said Tom Puddy, head of grain marketing at CBH.
In October, Saudi Arabia's Grain and Flour Mills Organisation (GFMO) said it expected to import around 1.5 million tonnes of the grain in 2011/12.
The organisation is Saudi Arabia's sole grain importer and last year changed its import specifications to allow the country to import Western Australian wheat.
Saudi Arabia plans to totally depend on wheat imports by the year 2016 to save water.
The average price was US$346 per tonne, according to the Saudi organisation.
CBH sold an initial cargo to Saudi Arabia of 55,000 tonnes in October last year but was not able to supply more grain due to drought conditions, which sliced Western Australia's 2010/11 wheat harvest to around 4.4 million tonnes.
Plentiful spring rain this year means the state is set to reap a near record nine million tonnes in 2010/11.
The Western Australian harvest is gathering pace with yield per acre being above average to date although protein levels have been below par due to wet weather promoting growth at the expense of protein content.