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7122.0.55.001 - Stocks of Grain Held by Bulk Handling Companies and Grain Traders, Australia, Mar 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/04/2008   
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INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

RELEVANCE

In the previous cycle, the Stocks of Grain survey was run on a monthly basis from October 2006 till February 2008. The collection will now be run twice a year in March and December. The survey measures stocks of grain held in grain storage facilities operated by major bulk grain handlers and grain traders. The data are a vital input into decisions regarding the management of the grain supply and ensuring that adequate supplies of grain remain available.

Data are required to be reported by State and grain type i.e. wheat, barley, oats, triticale, grain sorghum, oilseeds, and other feed grains and pulses. For wheat and oats, respondents are asked to breakdown their stocks into the grade of grain i.e. milling, feed and other. For barley, the grades are malting, feed and other - while only 'totals' are required of the other grain types.

This collection does not attempt to measure the total amount of grain held in storage facilities in Australia. Regional and/or small storage operators (or on-farm storage) are not represented in these statistics.


TIMELINESS

The stocks of grain, held in storage facilities operated by the selected business, are reported as at the last day of the reference month. Results are released about four weeks after that date.

This collection commenced in December 2002 following concerns regarding the lack of available information on the quantity of grain held in storage facilities across Australia. It was undertaken on a monthly and quarterly basis until December 2004. The series was revived in October 2006 in response to renewed concerns of feed grain availability and run on a monthly basis until February 2008. The survey will now be run twice a year in March and December.


ACCURACY

Statistics contained in this publication represent the major bulk grain handling companies which between them store most of Australia's grain. A 100% response rate is achieved each month.

To avoid the possibility of duplication in reporting, details are required only for grain quantities held in storage facilities operated by the business (regardless of ownership). This includes facilities rented from others and operated by the business, but excludes those rented out by the business and operated by others.

Graph:  Qtrly stocks of grain held by major grain handlers, Australia



COHERENCE

The data from the 2002-04 collections and the more recent 2006-07, 2007-08 cycle of collections are comparable. The same collection methodology has been used and the grain type categories and grades are unchanged (except for the separate collection of oilseeds in the 2006-07, 2007-08 cycle) and adhere to standard industry terms. These data are compatible with other ABS agriculture data which relate to grains.

As well as the Stocks of Grain survey, complimentary data are sometimes collected from other sources by the ABS, Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and non-government agencies. Data from smaller grain handlers and on-farm stocks would, when available, supplement this collection to present a more complete picture of grain availability.


INTERPRETABILITY

At this stage, estimates are 'original' series only. No seasonally adjusted or trend series have yet been prepared. To better understand these data, users could familiarise themselves with latest grain production data available from ABS and ABARE agricultural publications. While much of these production data lag behind the stocks estimates, useful forecasts/projections and industry information can be gleaned from the agricultural press and company reports.


ACCESSIBILITY

Data collected in the Stocks of Grain survey are supplied on a State basis. However, due to the small number of contributors, the data are only published at the national level.

The results of the Stocks of Grain Survey are published in Stocks of Grain Held by Bulk Handling Companies and Grain Traders, Australia (Cat. No. 7122.0.55.001) which is available from the ABS website. A time series of the data from October 2006 can be obtained by contacting the Agriculture Client Service Officer at Agriculture.Statistics@abs.gov.au

An extensive range of other standard products is available from the website but if the information you require is not available as a standard product or service, then ABS Consultancy Services can help you with customised services to suit your needs. Contact 1300 135 070 from within Australia or +61 2 9268 4909 from overseas for all your information needs. Alternatively, please email client.services@abs.gov.au

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