COOPERATIVE Bulk Handling (CBH) chairman Tony Critch has taken a swipe at AWB International (AWBI),

25 Jun, 2007 08:45 PM
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In the confidential document obtained by Farm Weekly, Mr Critch accuses AWB of conduct that is ³clearly discriminating² against the CBH Group¹s Asian flour milling subsidiary Interflour.

He says the conduct is in direct contradiction to what AWB¹s primary objective ought to be ‹ to maximise returns for Australian wheat growers.

Mr Critch based his statements on five key points including claims that documentation proved that CBH¹s competitors, Federal Flour Mills (FFM) and Malaysian Flour Mills (MFM), were being sold APW quality wheat at US$10/ tonne below prices paid by Interflour.

²AWB has supported both FFM and MFM during the 2006-07 season by making available supplies of Australian wheat that were clearly not available to other flour mills including Interflour,² the letter said.

³While it is acknowledged that AWB may supply international customers at its discretion, it is understood a vessel arrived at Port Klang on 24 December 2006, with a cargo for FFM (APW wheat) sold at approximately USD195/t, well below the prevailing market.

³Flour mills throughout the region are most concerned at this conduct and share the view that the supply of these scarce cargoes at values considerably below the prevailing market is a reward for the support given by FFM to AWB in publicly opposing the CBH Group¹s application in October 2006 to export two million tonnes of wheat to its Asian flour milling investments.²

Mr Critch also accused AWB of providing the Vietnam miller MFM with access to wheat this year, as a reward for its public support last October, while other mills in the region were told the wheat was not available.

He was also critical of AWB¹s blocking of attempts by CBH to sell Australian wheat to Interflour in bags and containers, via its subsidiary Agracorp.

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