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Australia's AWB Lifts Estimated Returns On New Crop Wheat
Australia's monopoly wheat exporter AWB Ltd. (AWB.AU) Tuesday lifted its estimate of returns from sales of its benchmark wheat type to be grown next crop year ending March 31, 2006.

The rise follows a recent weakening of the Australian dollar against the U.S. unit, it said in a regular review of the estimates, issued every two weeks.

AWB now estimates its benchmark 2005-06 crop Australian Premium White type wheat of 10% protein should return in a range A$180-A$190 a metric ton free on board and exclusive of a 10% goods and services tax, up A$5 from the last review, which also increased the estimate by A$5/ton, it said.

AWB's first estimate of returns from the 2005-06 crop was a range of A$170-A$180/ton.

The company said no change has been made to benchmark 2004-05 crop Australian Premium White type wheat sold through AWB's Number 1 pool, which remains at A$199/ton.

Sarah Scales, AWB's general manager international, said U.S. wheat futures have retraced some of their strong earlier gains, as many in the market were expecting.

"However, recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar has seen the Australian dollar comparatively weaker, and this has offset some of the impact of the decline in futures, and has helped contribute" to the rise in 2005-06 estimated pool returns, Scales said in a statement.

AWB sells wheat collectively on behalf of growers through a pooling system and attempts to estimate average returns from sales spread across the marketing year, which started Oct. 1.

It deducts storage, handling, transportation and other costs before passing on returns to growers.

The company exports most wheat it receives from growers, making it a major global supplier.

It also trades in the domestic market. AWB will next update its estimates of pool returns April 11.
MGR Archive 30.3.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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