MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB has increased its estimated pool returns (EPRs) by between A$2 and A$5 per tonne for most grades in its 2010-11 season wheat pools and announced on Feb. 15 the closure of wheat receivals in the Western Australian port zones of Fremantle, Albany, Esperance and Thevenard in South Australia.

AWB’s estimated pool return (EPR) for benchmark APW wheat in the eastern pool is up A$3 to A$373 a tonne, while FED1 is up A$3 to A$288 a tonne and DR1 is up A$5 to A$380. In AWB’s western pool APW wheat is up A$2 to A$384 a tonne and ANW1 noodle wheat is down unchanged at A$500 a tonne (FOB, excl GST).

AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said the global wheat market had enjoyed another solid week with prices being well supported due to a very tight balance sheet and strong international consumptive interest.

“In addition, as the market increasingly looks to new crop production prospects, crops in China and the U.S. are not in ideal condition and while it may take months for these production issues to play out it is providing support to the wheat market,” Morison said. “We have seen a very firm market so far this calendar year, with our APW1 estimates increasing by A$15 per tonne and Fed1 in the Eastern Pool increasing by A$19 per tonne this year.”

AWB closed its wheat pools to further receivals in a further four port zones today, taking the total number of Port Zone closures to eight, with durum & noodle grades already closed. The pool closures allow AWB to finalize marketing and execution strategies and protects equity generated within those pools.

“The market is providing plenty of opportunities while the supply chain is providing plenty of challenges, having known volumes to enable us to finalize marketing strategies will certainly enable us to add further value to our pools,” Morison said.

Growers can still secure access to AWB Pools by taking pool access contracts and growers are encouraged to contact their local AWB grain marketer, or call the AWB Grower Services Centre to obtain more information.