Australia revising wheat export policies

by Emily Wilson
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Australia’s Wheat Export Authority is developing a revised export consent system for wheat as part of the government’s response to a review earlier this year, Agriculture Minister Warren Truss announced this week. Under Australia’s single-desk grain export legislation, the WEA must issue consents to export wheat to any exporter other than AWB Ltd., which holds the country’s grain export monopoly.

The arrangements will include provisions for quarterly consents for exporters and annual niche market consents against specific guidelines. Details are expected to be released later this month.

The revised consent system will be more transparent and should provide greater certainty to exporters of wheat in containers and bags and to niche markets without compromising the integrity of the single desk, Truss said.

The revisions are part of the government’s response to the National Competition Policy review of the Wheat Marketing Act 1989. That review, which government officials rejected, had recommended partial abandoment of the AWB’s export monopoly status.