MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — AWB will close more of its 2010-11 season wheat pools at the end of this week, AWB said on Feb. 1. Estimated pool returns (EPRs) are holding firm for all grades.

AWB’s EPR for benchmark APW wheat in the eastern pool is A$365 a tonne, while FED1 is A$277 a tonne and stockfeed SFW1 is A$285 a tonne. In AWB’s western pool APW wheat is A$377 a tonne and ANW1 noodle wheat is A$510 a tonne (FOB, excl GST).

AWB General Manager Commodities Mitch Morison said on Feb. 4 AWB’s eastern wheat pool would close for all grades in Queensland and for durum deliveries in South Australia, with the western pool to close for all grades below APW milling wheat.

“The wheat market is still holding a firm to bullish tone and these pool closures are part of the process in advancing our wheat marketing and execution strategies,” he said. “Last week the market climbed before falling back on Friday night, with the issues in Egypt given as a reason for the fall.

“The market has been following a volatile cycle for some weeks now and is seeking a new range; the significant demand seen in the market last week combined with chatter on new crop production hiccups may have seen us ratchet to a higher level.

“Last week’s peak was significantly higher than previously, helped by international market reports of big sales to northern African destinations.

“Demand is present from many countries and buyers are aware that world stocks are tight, particularly for good quality milling grain, so trade is occurring as buyers see potential for even higher prices.

“Demand is also strong for feed wheat, which is why our wheat pool for these grades remains open at this time in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

“Pools can close without notice though; any grower looking to secure delivery to an AWB pool ahead of closure is welcome to sign a pool access contract that will give them flexibility in delivery, which is especially relevant while transport and paddock access is difficult in some regions.”