MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB has increased high protein and durum wheat grade estimated pool returns (EPRs) for its 2011-12 AWB Pools, as early indications of this year’s wheat harvest profile show a lower than average protein profile in the 2011-12 Australia crop, AWB said on Nov. 16.

AWB’s 2011-12 EPRs for APW wheat remains unchanged at A$270 a tonne and ANW noodle wheat is A$285 a tonne in the WA Pool, APW is A$268 a tonne in the SA Pool and A$272 a tonne in the Eastern Pool (FOB, excl GST).

AWB’s Jon White said, “Globally high protein wheats remain well supported as customers react to the news about declining wheat protein profile in Australia and are now looking to lock in supplies.

“As a result we have increased high protein wheat values by up to A$27 a tonne however if the profile of the Australian harvest improves the current premium for high protein wheat may reduce.

“In Western Australia, demand for downgraded wheat will exist as Australian wheat remains well priced for the lower wheat grades. The pool is well positioned to find customer demand for lower wheat grades and encourages farmers to deliver to this year’s pool.

“While global wheat prices remain supported as a result of tight US corn stocks, volatility continues as commodity markets are being influenced by the global financial uncertainty.

“AWB expect markets to remain volatile, particularly grade and protein spreads, in the short to medium term and combined with some uncertainty regarding wheat prices due to a rapidly changing quality profile. Farmers should consider utilizing pools as part of their grain marketing program to reduce their exposure to price volatility.”