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New electronic grain trading platform likely

Traders, growers and customers currently undertake deals using the telephone and fax machine to check prices and to seal agreements.

“EGE is a big step forward. It will bring all sectors of the industry into one virtual market, removes geographic barriers to trading, speeds settlement and has the support of a number of the major entities in the industry,” Mr Galtos said.

“Growers will be able to view all the prices being paid in Australia for crops comparable to their own at any time.

“Costs of executing trades are expected to drop with a significant percentage of savings passed on to growers to ensure their participation in the market.”

He said that, under existing grain exchanges such as the CBOT in the US, which trades grain futures, it will have actual spot trades and stock will be certified and bank guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Federal Trade Minister Mark Vaile has hit back at claims that Australia’s sugar fight with the European Union would hurt poor sugar exporting countries.

Mr Vaile said it was the subsidies from the EU that forced sugar prices down and not the stance taken by Australia, as claimed by European Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy.

“The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics estimates that if the EU paid its sugar farmers at world market prices there would be an almost 20 per cent rise in the world market price,” Mr Vaile said.

“This would benefit all sugar industries in both developed and developing countries.”

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