MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB announced on May 2 steady estimated pool returns for 2010-11 season wheat pool, a top-up payment for growers participating in the 2010-11 season AWB loan and advanced payment products, as well as a significant advance in the sales program for 2010-11 season wheat pools.

Key points:

  • AWB’s estimated pool return for benchmark APW wheat in the eastern pool is steady at A$352 a tonne, with FED1 at A$267 a tonne. In AWB’s western pool APW, wheat is unchanged at A$380 a tonne while ANW1 noodle remains at A$443 a tonne (FOB, excl GST).

  • Since the last pool update, AWB Pool Management have sold in excess of 180,000 tonnes of wheat from this season’s pools.

  • On May 25, AWB made top-up payments of $29 million to growers participating in the AWB loan and advanced payment products.

  • AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said, “Wheat markets continue to be heavily influenced by weather, as the market largely waits for clearer direction on 2011-12 season production.

“The resulting market volatility provides opportunities for our pool pricing team, and since our last pool update we have been taking advantage of these through a combination of physical sales and hedges, which have increased our pool pricing by 15%.

“Strong consumptive demand, particularly in the last two weeks, has provided the opportunity to price a significant amount of physical wheat, with the majority of sales in the period comprising of milling and noodle wheat from Western Australia, the Eyre Peninsula and the East Coast, these sales in aggregate totaled 180,000 tonnes.

“The high value of the Australian dollar continues to be a strong area of focus. Pleasingly for exporters it has come off its $1.10 highs and has been broadly trading a range between $1.050 and $1.075 against the U.S. dollar. The Pool’s foreign exchange exposure is heavily hedged but not fully covered, the portion hedged is significantly outperforming current spot markets and on market dips we will continue to add hedge cover for residual exposures,” Morison said.