MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — The Australian Wheat Board (AWB) said on Jan. 8 that it will close all AWB 2012-13 wheat pools in Western Australia, South Australia and Eastern Australia on Jan. 31.
“By closing the pools we can execute our sales and shipping program with certainty around the volumes and quality we have available for sales to both domestic and export customers,”  AWB’s Richard Williams said. “This will enable us to effectively market our pool’s wheat and ensure our pool returns to farmers are competitive.”
Williams said the pool strategy is focused on selling a large proportion of the pool wheat volumes in advance of the Northern Hemisphere crop coming on line in the middle of 2013. 
AWB has also updated it’s estimated pool returns (EPRs) for the AWB 2012-13 wheat pools with the majority of EPRs decreasing due to a continuing softening in global milling wheat values, significant falls in U.S. wheat futures and a reduction in Australian wheat cash values since the last revision.
Benchmark grade APW2 is now at A$348 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) and noodle grade ANW1 is A$383 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the Western pool, APW1 is at A$337 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the Eastern pool and APW1 is at A$334 a tonne (FOB, excl GST) in the SA pool.
“Currently Australian wheat values have held up relatively well given the significant falls in U.S. wheat futures which is indicative of tighter global balance sheet and requirement of Australian wheat in the world market,” Williams said.“We expect international wheat prices and the market to be subdued until there is a clearer picture on the Northern Hemisphere weather market in March/April this year.”