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Australia sells a million tonnes of wheat to China
Agence France Presse, December 23, 2003
Australia announced Tuesday it had signed a deal to supply one million tonnes of wheat to China, with exporters saying the deal is a sign the rural sector is finally recovering after a crippling drought.
AWB Ltd, formerly the Australian Wheat Board, said the deal was its first significant sale to China in seven years and would earn 150 to 200 million Australian dollars (111 to 148 million US dollars).

AWB managing director Andrew Lindberg said the contract with the China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Import and Export Corporation (COFCO) should pave the way for more sales into China.
"AWB has been working closely with COFCO to build demand for Australian wheat," Lindberg said in a statement.

Lindberg said until 1996 AWB had sold between one and two million tonnes of wheat to China annually but recently the total had fallen to about 100,000 tonnes.

He said AWB hoped to do more business with China in coming years.

"China is both the largest producer and consumer of wheat in the world, producing in excess of 80 million tonnes of wheat annually," he said.

"With the world's largest population we see this as a very important growth market in the future."

Lindberg said the sale was a sign of Australia's re-emergence from the drought which last year slashed wheat production to less than 10 million tonnes.

This year almost 24 million tonnes of wheat is expected to be harvested.
MGR Archive 23.12.2003
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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