December 12, 2008


AWB ships first bulk wheat cargo under new export system


Australian agribusiness AWB Ltd. (AWB.AU) on Friday (December 12) announced it has shipped its first cargo under new bulk wheat export arrangements, with 44,000 tonnes loaded on the MV Curia at Geraldton now bound for buyers in Bahrain and Sharjah.


AWB's General Manager for Australian Commodities Stuart Richardson said the shipment marked a historic moment for the company, which for more than 60 years operated a wheat export monopoly that finally ended on June 30.


New regulator Wheat Exports Australia has accredited 21 companies as bulk wheat exporters under the liberalized export arrangements.


"AWB is looking forward to the challenge of competing in the new market," Richardson said in a statement.


The statement also announced modest falls in estimated returns on most collective sales pools operated by AWB.


The estimated Western pool return for Australian Premium White grade wheat of 10 percent protein was cut A$3 to A$321 a tonne, free on board, while the Eastern APW 10.5 percent protein grade pool was cut A$1 to A$324. Eastern feed grades, though, were increased A$9 to A$249 for AH9 grade and to A$244 for general feed grade.


AWB didn't provide reasons for the changes.


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