ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — The Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) announced on Oct. 3 that it has renewed Viterra’s existing accreditation to export bulk wheat from Australia for the next three years.

The decision by WEA follows yesterday's announcement by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approving Viterra's revised 2011 Undertaking for the provision of access to its port terminal services to accredited wheat exporters, from Oct. 1.

Rob Gordon, Viterra's President Southeast Asia, said the decision gave Viterra, exporters and the South Australian grains industry certainty for bulk wheat exports for the next three years.

"Viterra has been working closely with the ACCC and WEA for more than 12 months to put in place the 2011 Access Undertaking," he said. "The undertaking provides greater flexibility for our export customers to manage their bookings. This increased flexibility is balanced with the operational needs of the port terminals and the desire to maximize volumes through the terminals most efficiently.

"Since 2009, Viterra has invested more than $45 million in storage, transport, logistics, people and port terminal infrastructure and the new undertaking and accreditation gives Viterra the certainly it needs to make further investments"

Key features of the new undertaking include greater flexibility for marketers to change shipping slots, incentives for the early cancellation of slots, greater information provision and the introduction of an auction system in mid-2012.

"We will be introducing an auction system mid-next year for managing the allocation of bookings on the shipping stem," Gordon said.

Record volumes of grain have been shipped through South Australian ports, exceeding the previous annual shipping exports. From Oct. 1 last year to Aug. 31, 2011, 7,339,258 tonnes were exported.

"The record shipping result is evidence of the efficient operation of Viterra's ports which has ensured a highly competitive marketplace for South Australian grain."

Viterra also welcomed the announcement from Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon Joe Ludwig last week accepting the recommendations in the Productivity Commission's report regarding wheat export market reforms, including deregulating the wheat export market and reducing costs to growers and exporters.

"The decision by the government will ease the regulatory burden imposed on the industry."