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Wheat price hits growers
Herald Sun
THE nation's 20,000 wheatgrowers have learned they can expect to see their combined incomes fall up to $20 million next season because of falling world grain prices.

AWB, the sole export and selling agency for Australian wheat, issued a revised export price of $186 a tonne yesterday for Australian Premium White.
This represents a $13 a tonne cut on the existing price of APW from last year's export pool.

Farmers are now being paid $199 a tonne for the popular APW variety used by breadmakers.

More than 16 million tonnes of the 21 million tonnes of various varieties harvested last season will be sold overseas.

Yesterday's announcement will cause a $4 a tonne drop in AWB's previously forecast price for all wheat grades in the 2005-06 pool.

The change means the 2005-06 estimated pool return (EPR) for benchmark APW is $186/t, freight onboard and GST exclusive.

The new price for Australian Premium Hard (APH) will be $205.50/t.

The EPR for durum grades have been cut by $2 a tonne, taking APDR (Australian Premium Durum) to $216/t.

AWB said the 2004-05 pool prices would remain unchanged.

National pool manager David Johnson said the change was driven by unfavourable movements in currency and commodity prices over the past fortnight.

"US grain futures have been on a bit of a rollercoaster in recent weeks, and we remain in a weather market which is being heavily influenced by the fortunes of the US corn crop," Mr Johnson said.

"Improved seasonal conditions across the US in the past fortnight have taken much of the risk premium out of the US corn futures values.

"Wheat continues to be a follower of the corn market at the moment, and consequently, wheat futures have dropped by about 20 per bushel in the past two weeks."

Mr Johnson said adding to price pressure was increasing competition in the physical wheat market with a good harvest and an aggressive sales program now under way from the Black Sea region.

AWB shares closed 5c lower last night at $4.82
MGR Archive 3.8.2005
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