WHEN private commodities trader David Burton visited Kulin, WA, recently to teach local farmers how

15 Nov, 2006 08:45 PM

Mr Burton¹s visit to Kulin was timely because of the current volatility in the world wheat market and in particular the current threat of change to Australia¹s single desk wheat export marketing system brought on by the Cole inquiry.

With many growers starting to consider life after the single desk and canvass alternative options, the use of private commodities traders like Mr Burton is in greater demand.

Mr Burton is credited with publicly forecasting the 130-year high in cotton in 1995, the major cotton low in 2001, and the 737c/bu for wheat in 1996 ‹ along with many other predictions, which according to his supporters have proven to be true.

While Mr Burton said he was not in Kulin to criticise Australia¹s wheat export monopoly, he could not avoid the issue while discussing his basic philosophy on money making.

³What¹s the point of wheat growers complaining about AWB if they continue throwing money at them?² Mr Burton said.

³People need to change the way they do things in order to get different results and now is a good time to start preparing for that change.²

Mr Burton said Australia¹s single desk wheat export marketing system was doomed under its current structure because it generated complacency in wheat export marketing.

³There¹s no competition in wheat exports and because of that things have become complacent and slack in the industry,² he said.

³Competition makes people more alert; they learn more; they are more cautious and because of that they become sharper.²

Mr Burton said grain pools did not work efficiently because they were controlled by large groups of people who were often slow to act, and ‹ because of that ‹ valuable opportunities were missed.

³I can¹t say what is going to happen to the single desk but I can guarantee that you will get better prices if there is more competition,² Mr Burton said.

³Life after deregulation will mean more pools competing against each other, resulting in better prices from that competition, which of course will be passed on to the growers.

³The marketing companies will be constantly keeping an eye on their costs and sharpening their pencil to reduce overheads and increase sales.²


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