WAFarmers has moved to clarify its position on calls for legislation to make reporting of grain stocks mandatory, saying it does not support the move.
In a statement released on Friday WA Farmers said it welcomed an announcement by bulk handler CBH stating that it will be releasing harvest receival information, aggregated by grade and port zone, weekly during harvest.
“WAFarmers supports the release of this information in an effort to improve market transparency, and may allow growers to make better informed decisions throughout the season,” the WA Farmers statement said.
“WAFarmers supports equal access to harvest delivery information as made available to the trade by CBH and Bunge. The information can assist growers to make informed marketing and agronomic decisions.
“The information provided by bulk handling companies this season is essential, as voluntary declaration of stocks information would prevent government intervention and legislation.”
WAFarmers Grain Section President Duncan Young said the national discussion on grains stocks must take into account the dominance of export markets in WA, compared to significant domestic markets in other parts of Australia.
In an earlier statement in June WA Farmers said it was pushing for equal access to grains stocks information that only grain traders were able to receive from bulk handlers.
WAFarmers said it believed that as traders already receive aggregated stocks information on a weekly basis during harvest, producers should be entitled to the same data.
Access to this information would give growers better insight ahead of selling their grain, and would provide maximum transparency within the market.
“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,” Mr Young said.
He said at the time WAFarmers’ preference was for a voluntary declaration of aggregated stocks information by bulk handlers, with growers then having the option to use this information or not. But if that information was not forthcoming WA Farmers was willing to look at regulation “as a last resort”.
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.