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6 The data on wheat grain exported were compiled by the ABS from information submitted by exporters or their agents to the Australian Customs Service. These data may be subject to revision.
7 The coverage of the Grain (Wheat) Handlers Stocks Survey (GHSS) was all major bulk grain handlers. The GHSS was previously conducted on a quarterly basis, but from March 2009 the GHSS has been conducted and data published on a monthly basis.
8 Commencing with the December 2009 reference period, the scope of the Wheat Use Survey (WUS) was agricultural businesses, manufacturing businesses, dairy operators and wheat growers either using or storing wheat grain, that were recorded on the ABS' Business Register (ABSBR). The ABSBR is sourced from the Australian Business Register (ABR) which is administered and maintained by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
9 For agricultural businesses, a minimum size cut-off of $5,000 was applied to determine whether a business was in scope for the WUS. The measure of size was based on the ABS' Estimated Value of Agricultural Operations (EVAO) where available; or where it was not available, a Business Activity Statement (BAS) turnover size was derived.
10 The coverage of the WUS included animal feedlot operators, dairy operators, manufacturing businesses using or storing wheat grain, and wheat growing businesses. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC06) was used to identify these businesses on the ABSBR, and the following ANZSIC06 codes were used:
11 From April 2010, the total stocks of wheat grain stored by users has been split to show sub-totals for both Growers (wheat growing businesses) and Users (animal feedlot operators, dairy operators and manufacturers). Refer to the paragraph above for the relevant ANZSIC codes. Sub-totals for months prior to April 2010 are not available.
12 Additionally, businesses reporting beef cattle feedlot activity in the 2005-06 Agricultural Census or 2006-07 Agricultural Survey were included in the coverage for the WUS. From December 2009, the scope was expanded to include dairy operators and also agricultural businesses reporting wheat production in the 2008-09 Agricultural Survey.
13 The coverage of the Wheat Export Sales Survey (WESS) included businesses reporting wheat grain exports on documentation lodged with the Australian Customs Service and units on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) Wheat Export Charge (WEC) levy register.
14 Prior to the December 2009 reference period, data compiled from the WUS excluded on-farm storage and use, apart from animal feedlot operators and manufacturing businesses as previously defined. Commencing with the December 2009 reference period, the coverage of the WUS was expanded to include on-farm storage and use, and the scope expanded to include wheat growers and the dairy sector. As a result, wheat grain stocks and use data for wheat users for periods prior to December 2009 are not directly comparable with data collected from December 2009 onwards.
BARLEY AND OTHER GRAINS
15 Previously, estimates of stocks and use of barley and selected other grains and pulses have been reported on a quarterly basis in data cubes attached to the web version of this publication. As a result of an ongoing review of the various associated collections and changing data needs amongst key clients, collection of these data has now ceased.
16 The final updated estimates of stocks of barley and selected other grains and pulses for March 2011 are provided in the March 2011 edition of this publication. The publication of monthly data on wheat stocks, use and commitments will continue unchanged.
RELIABILITY OF ESTIMATES
17 Sample sizes for both the Grain (Wheat) Handlers Stocks Survey and Wheat Export Sales Survey were smaller than the sample size for the Wheat Use Survey, with the major grain handlers and approximately 50 major wheat exporters being surveyed.
18 A minimum response rate of at least 90% is generally achieved for the monthly wheat collections.
19 Some of the estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from samples drawn from the total business population in scope of these collections. As such, estimates are subject to sampling variability; that is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if all businesses had been included in the surveys. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE) which indicates the extent to which an estimate might vary by chance because only a sample was taken. There are about two chances in three that a 'sample' estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses had responded, and about nineteen chances in twenty that the difference will be less than two SEs.
20 In this publication, 'sampling' variability of the estimates is measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers.
21 Most published national estimates have RSEs of less than 10%. However some state estimates have RSEs greater than 10%. Estimates that have an estimated RSE between 10% and 25% are annotated with the symbol '^'. These estimates should be used with caution as they are subject to sampling variability too high for some purposes. Estimates with an RSE between 25% and 50% are annotated with the symbol '*', indicating that the estimate should be used with caution as it is subject to sampling variability too high for most practical purposes. Estimates with an RSE greater than 50% are annotated with the symbol '**' indicating that the sampling variability causes the estimates to be considered too unreliable for general use. Separate indication of the RSEs of all estimates is available on request.
22 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
23 Not all data from these surveys are published here. As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
24 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
25 Additional information relating to grain stocks, including quality, is published in:
26 A range of other publications relevant to the Agriculture sector is produced by the ABS, including:
27 Detailed merchandise exports data are available by contacting the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. Value and quantity data can be produced according to a number of commodity classifications, with information available by state/territory of origin, and country of destination.
28 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed under the Topics @ a Glance pages on the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.
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