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Australia wheat export sales to Egypt highest since 1985
Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), April 9, 2004
Australian wheat growers have five million good reasons to be smiling this Easter.
That's the total volume in tonnes of grain the nation's sole exporter has sold so far this year from last season's harvest.

The 2003-04 export harvest pool now stands at 14 million tonnes, exporter AWB says.

"We've had an excellent start to the sales and marketing season," official spokesman Peter McBride said yesterday, noting that strong support had been shown from traditional buyers including Egypt, Indonesia, Japan and China. Egypt -- one of Australia's oldest customers and one of the world's biggest wheat importers -- were being shipped the biggest Australian sales to that country since 1985.

More than 2.1 million tonnes of top quality Australian Standard White, worth about $500 million, is being shipped.

AWB managing director Andrew Lindberg said AWB had shipped 1.3 million tonnes of that wheat to Egypt since December.

"The sales to Egypt form a key part of our well advanced sales and marketing program, following what was Australia's largest ever domestic wheat harvest," he said.

"Egypt is a significant white wheat buyer, and AWB has maximised its opportunities in what is a very competitive market -- especially for soft white wheat.

"These early sales not only add significant immediate value to AWB's National Pool, but they create a positive ripple effect in terms of our whole marketing and logistics strategy, potentially saving growers millions of dollars in carrying charges alone."

Mr Lindberg said Australia's ASW wheat had become a significant component of Egypt's bread market, due to its high extraction rates and production of bright white flour.

However, in conjunction with its Egyptian customers via its Cairo office, AWB also has been developing a new market for harder, higher protein wheat types.

"Included in our sales to Egypt this year is about 500,000 tonnes of hard wheat, which offers advantages to the customers, and generates further value for the national pool," Mr Lindberg said.

Egypt is one of the world's largest wheat purchasers, importing about 6-7 million tonnes of wheat each year.

Mr Lindberg said due to local milling requirements, demand from Egypt was likely to be higher than average this season, and that AWB is well positioned to capitalise on further demand opportunities for the 2003-04 pool.

Late yesterday AWB announced a $970 million first payment from last season's harvest, the largest made to growers.

General manager national pool Sarah Scales said the record distribution would be paid next week.
MGR Archive 9.4.2004
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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