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Australia's ME Wheat Exports Getting Stronger

Australia's Middle East Wheat Exports Getting Stronger

Australia's wheat trade to the Middle East is in good shape and getting stronger, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said today.

Mr Vaile was responding to alarmist claims from Grains Council chief Keith Perrett who said Australia's wheat trade was under threat.

In the past two months Mr Vaile has travelled extensively throughout the Middle East region and was surprised by Keith Perrett's recent comments.

"Keith Perrett's comments are wide of the mark. No such revelations have been made to me during my travels in the Middle East, in fact it's completely the opposite," Mr Vaile said.

"Australian wheat exports to countries in the Middle East region such as Iran, Iraq, Jordan, the UAE, Libya and Egypt continue to flourish."

"Only last week, during a visit to Iran, AWB Ltd had a major contract for 530,000 tonnes of wheat confirmed, with the potential of more to come.

"Last month I informed the Australian Parliament AWB Ltd had secured deals with Jordan and Libya to supply 50,000 tonnes of Australian wheat to both countries.

"Wheat exports to Iraq, year to date, stand at 1.8 million tonnes following a successful outcome to the quarantine dispute between AWB Ltd and the Iraqi Grains Board.

"Based on these facts alone, Keith Perrett's comments just don't stack up.

Mr Vaile said the Federal Government, AWB Ltd, and the grains industry continued to work hard to open and improve markets for quality Australian wheat.

"Last year Australia exported more than 17.5 million tonnes of Australian wheat to more than 55 countries around the world.

"This Government is about opening markets for the 150,000 wheat farmers and their families who depend on exports for their livelihoods."


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