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Australia sets plan for Iraqi grain storage-milling facility
Weekly Times (Australia), June 2, 2004
The Federal Government will build a $30 million grain storage and milling plant in Iraq as part of a deal to waive debt owed to Australian wheat growers.

The deal was thrashed out by senior Federal Government officials from a number of departments and the Grains Council of Australia yesterday.

As part of the deal, some of Iraq's $140 million in debt owed to growers would be waived.

GCA president Keith Perrett said it had become increasingly clear to the grains council and its state affiliates growers would not recoup the debt owed by Iraq.

"This deal will help stabilise the Iraqi market and look to the future.

"And the storage and milling facility is acknowledgment by the Government of the pain the grain industry has worn."

The debt is part of $700 million owed to Australia by Iraq, mostly for wheat shipped from three consecutive harvests dating to 1987-88.

The wheat sales were made by the former Australian Wheat Board on credit to Iraq, with 80 per cent covered by the Australian Government's insurance agency, the Export Finance Insurance Corporation.

Farmers have already been reimbursed the 80 per cent share of the sales covered by the EFIC when it became clear Iraq was struggling to pay for the wheat, but they have been waiting about 15 years for the remaining 20 per cent.

The unpaid proportion accounts for about $11 a tonne to growers.
MGR Archive 2.6.2004
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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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