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Don't Forget About New Zealand Wheat

Don't Forget About New Zealand Wheat

New Zealand wheat growers are anticipating a good harvest of milling wheat in January/February 2003 says newly elected Chairman of United Wheatgrowers John Wright. Good rains across the New Zealand milling wheat-growing regions should ensure that our bread consumers have high quality New Zealand wheat in their bread.

New Zealand milling wheat growers supply over one third of our national requirements for milling wheat, essentially the South Island and a proportion of the North Island flour consumption. The recent announcements of increases in bread prices due to a poor Australian wheat harvest, has caused New Zealand wheat growers to be concerned that their contribution to the industry has been overlooked.

Mr Wright says New Zealand wheat growers are proud of their ability to produce high quality milling wheat with a system of quality assurance far superior to that of other wheat sources for New Zealand millers.

United Wheatgrowers (NZ) Ltd survey results show a 12% lift in milling wheat plantings for the coming harvest. Mr Wright says this has been in response to the rise in international prices due to drought conditions affecting Australian and Canadian wheat production.

However Mr Wright says the majority of New Zealand milling wheat for the coming harvest was contracted to processors in May and June at levels about 25% less than current market prices. In fact, while contracted milling wheat prices were similar to those of ten years ago, bread prices have doubled.

Mr Wright says it is also important to realise that the raw wheat product makes up less than 10% of the cost of a standard priced loaf of bread. Given these facts we must assume the bread price increases reflect other significant lifts in costs throughout the production chain.

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