MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB’s 2010-11 season estimated pool returns (EPRs) for wheat show small changes with most milling grades slightly higher, reflecting a relatively steady world wheat market, AWB said on Jan. 18.

AWB’s estimated pool return (EPR) for benchmark APW wheat in the eastern pool is up A$2 to A$360 a tonne, while FED1 is up A$2 to A$271 a tonne and stockfeed SFW1 is unchanged at A$279 a tonne. In AWB’s western pool APW wheat is up A$2 to A$372 a tonne and ANW1 noodle wheat is unchanged at A$510 a tonne (FOB, excl GST).

AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had released a range of reports that were bullish for corn and neutral for wheat, so with no real surprises in wheat data the market response was small.

“World wheat markets are currently moving in a reasonably tight range during the northern hemisphere winter and it would require a substantial event to move out of this range,” he said. “Weather damage to milling wheat in eastern Australia was priced into the world market in November, which is why recent rains and flooding are having little effect internationally.

“The USDA reports highlighted a very tight U.S. corn balance sheet, the effects of which flow on to supporting wheat values.

“Prices will be sensitive to how U.S. wheat crops emerge from winter dormancy and whether any winterkill has occurred due to insufficient snow cover. There are also reports of dry conditions building in parts of Africa, China and the Middle East, but it is too early for clear effects to emerge and push the wheat market.

“Noodle wheat is Western Australia is in a slightly different position due to its specific end uses: some downward pressure is evident on prices today and at present the market remains very competitive, however AWB’s strategy is to pursue value opportunities as the year proceeds and our EPRs for noodle are holding steady.”

AWB will close its 2010-11 wheat pool for durum in the Newcastle port zone on Jan. 21, so growers considering delivery in that zone should contact AWB promptly.