MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) said on April 19 that it will make its first distribution of A$150 million (FOB GST excl) to pool participants in its 2011-12 season wheat pools. After deduction of supply chain costs, the net payment to farmers will be A$110 million (GST excl).

AWB’s Richard Williams said the 2011-12 wheat pools pricing and sales program was progressing well in a challenging market due to large Australian wheat stocks and good weather conditions in the Northern Hemisphere continuing to place pressure on Australian wheat values.

“The large Australia wheat crop is being exporting at record pace with good demand for Australian wheat however prices are being pressured in some areas,” Williams said.

The first distribution represents between 22% and 27% of the current estimated pool returns (EPRs) across all pools with 100% of early commitment premiums, 24% of quality payments, 100% of receival fees and 28% of estimated upcountry, freight and port costs applied to this payment.

“This distribution is reflective of the level of physical shipping from our pools with the majority of pooled wheat sold making its way to customers in Africa, Middle East and throughout the Asian and pacific regions,” Williams said.

The majority of AWB 2011-12 season EPRs have remain unchanged however some higher protein grades have decrease A$4 to A$9 a tonne due to a large supply of Australian protein wheat and ideal growing conditions in the U.S. which could result in record yields.

AWB’s 2011-12 EPRs for APW wheat remains at A$263 a tonne and ANW noodle wheat is A$276 a tonne in the WA Pool, APW is A$257 a tonne in the SA Pool and A$258 a tonne in the Eastern Pool (FOB, excl GST).

“Positive growing conditions in the Northern Hemisphere for wheat and corn crops continue to weigh heavily on international wheat prices and as long as the weather conditions remain favorable the ability of grain markets to rally at this point seems limited,” Williams said. “Overall Australian wheat prices are holding up relative to US wheat values.

“In the past month we have made key sales to Sudan, Thailand, UAE, Qatar and Yemen of various grades of milling and feed wheat.”