November 10, 2008
Bulk wheat exports under new arrangements in place in Australia from July 1 have reached 341,000 tonnes, according to Agriculture Minister Tony Burke.
The wheat has been exported to eight countries by some of the 19 exporters accredited under the new arrangements, which replaced a long-standing export monopoly operated by AWB Ltd. he said in a statement.
The minister was commenting after announcing a government-funded project to produce monthly industry reports to help improve the quality of market information available to growers.
The report, which will be published monthly from February, will be produced by the government's Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics, he said.
Abare will draw on new surveys introduced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics to collect data on wheat usage, export sales contracts and grain handlers' stocks as well as Abare's own quarterly production forecasts, he said.
Burke said the market information project, which is funded to November 2011, will help the industry in its transition to a competitive export wheat marketing system.
Stakeholders from farming lobbies, flour millers, stockfeed manufacturers, exporters, grain traders, and intensive livestock industries were consulted during the development of the project, he said.
On Wednesday, Abare cut its production forecast for the wheat crop to be harvested by year end to 19.9 million tonnes, down 11 percent from a September estimate but still well up from an actual 13 million tonnes harvest in 2007.
After domestic demand of about 7 million tonnes a year is met, the balance of production is available for export.