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Australia To Further Deregulate Wheat Exports

CANBERRA/REUTERS

Australia will abolish its wheat export regulator and a levy on all wheat exports from Sept. 30, 2012, Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig said Sept. 23, as the country moves to further deregulate its wheat exports market.

However, the changes will be 12 months later than recommended by a major report into wheat exports, which had wanted the export regulator Wheat Exports Australia (WEA) and a 22-cents-a-tonne export levy abolished from September 30 of this year.

An access test requirement to support open competition will initially remain in place but from Oct 2014, the market will be fully deregulated, the minister said.

The government supports the recommendations provided by the (Productivity) Commission and believes they will improve future wheat-marketing arrangements, Ludwig said in a statement.

Australia is one of the world s top four wheat exporters and expects to sell a record 20.4 million tonnes of wheat overseas in the year to September 30, 2012.

WEA was set up in mid- 2008, when Australia abolished its single-desk wheat exports system, to administer the accreditation of new bulk wheat exporters.

Australia now has 26 accredited wheat export companies since it ended the monopoly by the former Australian Wheat Board, now AWB Ltd.

Other major companies involved in Australian wheat marketing include the local arms of international giants such as Glencore International, U.S. commodities giant Cargill and Canada s Agrium.

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