Wheat industry goes from strength to strength - Minister Ludwig, 10 October 2012
Wheat is the major winter crop grown in Australia with sowing starting in autumn and harvesting, depending on seasonal conditions, occurring in spring and summer. The main producing states are Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.
The majority of Australian wheat is sold overseas with Western Australia the largest exporting state. The major export markets are in the Asian and Middle East regions and include Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and Sudan.
Wheat grown for domestic consumption and feedstock is predominately produced on the east coast.
Bulk wheat export marketing arrangements
Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) was established on 1 July 2008 to administer the Wheat Export Accreditation Scheme which regulates the export of wheat in bulk from Australia. Under the scheme all companies wanting to export wheat in bulk must be accredited by WEA. The export of wheat in bags and shipping containers is not a part of the scheme.
The Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008 and the Wheat Export Marketing (Repeal and Consequential Amendments) Act 2008 underpin these arrangements.
- Wheat Export Marketing Bill 2008 - Explanatory Notes
- Wheat Export Marketing (Repeal and Consequential Amendments) Bill 2008 - Explanatory Notes
Productivity Commission review of wheat export marketing arrangements
The Wheat Export Marketing Act 2008 required the Productivity Commission to conduct a review of export wheat marketing arrangements by 1 July 2010. The Productivity Commission released a draft report on 22 March 2010 for public comment with written submissions due by 23 April 2010. Submissions received by the Productivity Commission are available on the Productivity Commission website.
The final report was tabled in Parliament on 28 October 2010.
The government announced its response to the Productivity Commission recommendations on 23 September 2011.
- Media release: Government reforms to improve wheat export marketing arrangements
- Australian Government response to the Productivity Commission recommendations on wheat export marketing arrangements
- Frequently Asked Questions
Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012
On 21 March 2012, the government introduced the Wheat Export Marketing Amendment Bill 2012. The bill gives effect to the government's in-principle agreement to the recommendations of the Productivity Commission and transitions the bulk wheat export market to full deregulation.
The bill is expected to be debated during the 2012 Spring sitting period.
Delivery of market information
ABARES/ABS Wheat Market Information Project
In 2008, the wheat Industry Expert Group (IEG), which was established to advise on the delivery of wheat industry development functions, recommended that monthly data on key market indicators (by state) such as stocks, production, exports and wheat available for purchase be published on a monthly basis. See the IEG report.
The government provided $3.38 million over three years to implement the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)/Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) wheat market information project and give effect to the IEG recommendation.
ABARES used the results of 3 ABS surveys and its own data to produce a more comprehensive monthly market report – Australian Wheat Supply and Exports Monthly – which contained estimates of the amount of wheat that was uncommitted and available for sale. Funding finished on 30 June 2011 with the last month of reporting covering September 2011 data released in November 2011.
In 2011, the Grains Research and Development Corporation and Grain Growers Ltd jointly funded a smaller scale collection of the ABS reports, namely Stocks of Grain Held by Bulk Handling Companies and Grain Traders and Wheat Use and Stocks, Australia.
Independent Wheat Market Information Project
The Productivity Commission review of wheat marketing arrangements saw value in the provision of market information, by state, to support the effective operation of wheat markets, but concluded that if the industry wanted this information it should pay for it. The government agrees with this assessment.
To assist industry transition to the new arrangements, the government provided funding for an independent wheat market information project to determine future long–term arrangements for the provision of wheat market information.
The project was undertaken by independent consulting group GHD, and managed by Grain Growers Limited. The publication was not prepared by the department and may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines. If you require an accessible version of the publication, please contact its author.
- Independent Wheat Market Information Study 2011 PDF [1.4 MB]
- Independent Wheat Market Information Study 2011 Word [2.7 MB]
Information requirements for an effective bulk wheat export market
Following the release of the GHD report, various industry groups have continued to make contradictory claims about the availability of stocks information and its impact on competitiveness.
In order to balance the competing claims, and to assist industry in identifying potential solutions, the department contracted Mr Peter Reading to provide an independent analysis of the availability of wheat stocks information.
All sectors of industry were consulted directly in the development of the paper.
- Information requirements for an effective bulk wheat export market report PDF [2 MB]
- Information requirements for an effective bulk wheat export market report Word [260 KB]
Wheat Export Technical Market Support Grants
As part of its assistance package of up to $9.37 million to help industry transition to the arrangements introduced in July 2008, the government provided up to $600,000 over three years (commencing in 2008-09) for the Wheat Export Technical Market Support Grants Program. The program gave exporters of wheat, either in both bulk or bags and containers the opportunity to access up to $60,000 across all rounds of the program to establish technical market support arrangement for new customers.
A total of $316 334 was spent on 19 projects under the three rounds of the program. The first round of the program was announced on 12 January 2009 and all projects were completed by December 2011.
10 Oct 2012