CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA — Australia’s bulk storage of wheat grain in February 2012 dropped 9% to 23.3 million tonnes compared to January, according to the Stocks of Grain Held by Bulk Handling Companies and Grain Traders report issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on March 22.

All states had a decrease in wheat grain stocks in February, with the largest decrease in New South Wales at 12% (826,000 tonnes) compared to January.

Nationwide, stocks were up 2.8 million tonnes or 14% compared to February 2011. Western Australia stored the largest amount at 8.7 million tonnes, which was 38% of the national stocks. New South Wales was the next largest with 6.1 million tonnes, or 26% of national stocks.

Due to the poor 2010-11 season, the ABS said there has been a significant reduction in the proportion of higher quality wheat and a corresponding increase in feed grade wheat.

Stocks of wheat grain for milling were 15.9 million tonnes, which was 68% of all grain stored in February. Feed grade wheat stocks were 7.4 million tonnes, or 32% of all grain stored.