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Equal access to grains stocks info needed

In an effort to improve competition and transparency, WAFarmers is pushing for equal access to grains stocks information that currently only grain traders receive from bulk handlers.

WAFarmers believes that as traders already receive aggregated stocks information on a weekly basis during harvest, producers should also be entitled to the data.

WAFarmers Grains Section President Duncan Young said giving growers access to the information would give them better insight ahead of selling their grain, and would provide maximum transparency within the market.

“Currently in WA, traders that purchase grain from CBH receive a weekly harvest summary, with aggregated stocks information by grade and port zone,” Mr Young said.

“Given this, we ask why traders get grower information without growers also being offered the same data.

“With access to information about how much grain is aggregated in each zone, producers can then make more informed decisions about how much grain they might want to sell or hold, depending on price fluctuations and supply of grain.

“WAFarmers’ preference is a voluntary declaration of aggregated stocks information by bulk handlers, with growers then having the option to use this information or not.

“However if they do not provide this information we are willing to look at regulation, though it is a last resort.

“WAFarmers understands CBH has decided to publish aggregated stocks information weekly on LoadNet for the 2017/18 season following significant feedback from growers, and we welcome this decision.”

Mr Young acknowledged that access to information was also an issue for the eastern states, given their significant domestic market and on-farm storage systems.

“Discussions surrounding annual reporting of on-farm grains stocks above certain levels are part of this debate, however have smaller consequences in WA compared to the eastern states given our strong focus on exporting, and their domestic market,” Mr Young said.

WAFarmers is engaged with GrainGrowers Limited and Grain Producers Australia on this issue.

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