CBH chief executive officer Imre Mencshelyi said the decision to operate the 2mt wheat pool was made after the company was inundated with calls from concerned growers seeking alternative options for selling their wheat, other than delivery to the AWB national pool.
Pressure has been placed on AWB to provide wheat growers with adequate protection from the financial fallout of the company¹s actions in Iraq.
The drop in grain production caused by this season¹s drought has also placed added strain on the national pool and its prices.
Although AWB has said it is re-negotiating the fee, the vast majority of AWBI¹s $65 million base service fee is set to fall on WA growers.
Mr Mencshelyi said the wheat from the pool would be exported to CBH¹s Asian flour mills over the next 12 months but the authority to do so was still subject to approval by the Wheat Export Authority (WEA).
He said approval on the move depended on AWB International (AWBI), which currently holds the power of veto over bulk wheat exports.
Mr Mencshelyi said his company was aiming to put additional dollars into the pockets of WA growers by operating the wheat pools.
³WA growers will vote with their actions on this,² Mr Mencshelyi said.
³This pool has been designed to provide WA growers with the capacity to earn maximum returns for their wheat this season.
³We had two export licences rejected by the WEA last year, but we have increased the volume and are hopeful that this year will be different.²
Pastoralists and Graziers Association (PGA) Western Graingrowers chairman Leon Bradley supported CBH¹s decision to operate the wheat export pool.
Mr Bradley said CBH¹s timing could not be better, with AWB having just released a revised pool estimate that was $36-$40/t under export parity.
Meanwhile, CBH has also announced it will defer its controversial $31 non-delivery charge per load for this harvest, after intense lobbying from growers.
³Given this feedback and the outlook for the current season, which sees production at levels well below average, it has been decided to defer the charge,² Mr Mencshelyi said.