MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB’s 2010-11 season estimated pool returns (EPRs) for wheat have declined slightly this week, as global wheat markets settle back from recent highs and domestic prices creep closer to export parity values, AWB said on Dec. 21.

AWB’s estimated pool return (EPR) for benchmark APW wheat in the eastern pool is A$358 a tonne, down A$4, while stockfeed SFW1 is A$283 a tonne, down A$7, and FED1 is down A$4 to A$267 a tonne. In AWB’s western pool ANW1 noodle wheat is A$510 a tonne, down A$26 while APW wheat is down A$6 to A$370 a tonne (FOB, excl GST).

AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said Australian wheat values had moved to well above world values a couple of weeks ago as traders moved in to cover short positions amidst harvest delays. Short term price volatility will continue but with harvest resuming in most districts, AWB expects true export values will reassert themselves.

“Australian wheat was essentially priced out of the world trade during the recent price spike, whereas with values now returning to more competitive levels we can expect to see consumer interest returning to Australia and export sales beginning to occur again.

“The market story continues for both high quality wheat and stockfeed grains; both are in demand for different uses in various countries and prices are well supported, however it is still a competitive global environment.

"Noodle wheat from Western Australia is in a slightly different situation due to its very specific end uses. Acknowledging the overall shortage in supply and to extend the available tonnage North Asian consumers have reduced blend ratios of noodle wheat to APW.

"Recently there has also been very aggressive trade done from WA that has set lower market values, so our EPR’s for noodle are moving with the prevailing market.

"That said, demand is very strong and Japan is already tendering again to secure the supplies they seek, so we are in discussion with customers and noodle wheat will sell quickly.”