MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) said on July 13 that it has increased estimated pool returns (EPRs) for the majority of 2011-12 AWB Pools wheat grades by between A$2 - A$7 a tonne due to a strong rally in global wheat values and will make its second financial distribution of A$130 million (FOB GST excl) to pool participants overnight. After deduction of supply chain costs, the net payment to farmers will be A$101 million (GST excl).

AWB’s 2011-12 EPRs for APW wheat is up A$7 to A$272 a tonne and ANW noodle wheat is up A$3 to A$281 a tonne in the WA Pool, APW is up A$6 to A$265 a tonne in the SA Pool and up A$6 to A$266 a tonne in the Eastern Pool (FOB, excl GST).

AWB’s Richard Williams said, “Global wheat values have rallied strongly over the past month on the back of deterioration in the US corn crop and reduction in Black Sea wheat crops.”

“The global wheat supply and demand situation has tightened significantly and we expect wheat values to be well supported until we have a clearer picture of the actual production levels of US corn and Black Sea wheat crops.

“There still remains further risk in northern hemisphere spring wheat crops, and given a tight global balance sheet, harvest progress in winter wheat crops will also be watched closely for any quality concerns.

“Australian weather over the next several months will be critical for the global wheat market this season.

“To support our shipping program and payment schedules the pool is relatively advanced in its physical pricing program and while old crop Australian wheat values initially lagged on the recent market moves, they eventually strengthened considerably.”