Second year of success

25 Jan, 2005 10:00 PM

BROOKS Grain has celebrated another successful year in WA and pledged to continue lobbying for increased Grain Licencing Authority (GLA) bulk export licences.

The NSW-based grain trader received licences for 110,000t of feed barley for Saudi Arabia and met contractual arrangements for 35,000t of malt barley for China.

"This is Brooks Grain's second year in the WA market and it certainly proved a more challenging season for all, with lower yields, larger European crops thus diminishing international markets, increased shipping rates and the higher Australian dollar all having an impact on prices," the company's WA manager Philip Brooks said.

He said it was receiving a good response in WA.

"We have attracted a great deal of new growers and everything we bought this year was from growers," Mr Brooks said.

He said the GLA barley allocation was disappointing in view of the company's long-standing and well-established malt barley markets in other states.

The company could only offer malt prices in the Albany and Fremantle zones because of the limited GLA malt barley licence allocation.

Mr Brooks rejected Grain Pool claims that the GLA licences took markets away from the Grain Pool, and the pool was then devalued when GLA licenced grain flowed back into it.

He said the company had already begun lobbying for increased GLA allocations for the coming season.

The timing of when GLA licences were issued, usually around September, also affected the company's ability to pay better prices.

He said that in February 2004, the track price for barley was $170/t but by September, the price was down to $130t due to increased world supply.

"We can't legally trade grain until a licence is granted," he said.

Mr Brooks said despite these issues, WA was still the place to be because it grew particularly good quality canola and barley, and produced 40pc of the national crop.


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