WESTERN Australian bulk handler CBH Group received 3.1 million tonnes (Mt) of grain into its network in the week to Sunday to take its harvest intake for the harvest to date to 15.8Mt.
“Despite deliveries slowing down marginally last week, some sites have continued to break records,” CBH Group chief operations officer Mick Daw said.
“The Esperance Zone has also broken its all time record of 2.8Mt, with the zones total receivals sitting at nearly 3Mt.”
As WA harvests its record crop, Mr Daw acknowledged the unprecedented volume had placed significant pressure on everyone involved with harvest including growers, their families, employees, transporters and CBH staff.
“As the pace of harvest continues, we are actively working to ensure that we can maintain services for growers”.
“We are doing absolutely everything that we can to put more capacity on and ease pressure which includes opening some old network sites and building emergency storage.”
“We have successfully completed over 2Mt of emergency storage and we are continuing to build more.”
“However, more sites will continue to fill and close in the next seven to 10 days.”
“We understand that some growers may be frustrated but we kindly ask for their patience and understand that we are running out of room.”
Wheat elbowed out
CBH Group reports wheat markets were mostly softer over last past week with marketers uncertain of future demand in the second half of the year as available shipping capacity becomes very tight in the first half of 2022.
This season has seen a significant amount of first half capacity being filled by the record canola crop, plus early sales of feed barley, resulting in wheat being pushed into the deferred months.
Demand for APW wheat and higher grades remains strong, with APW still trading at around $415 per tonne free in store (FIS).
Malting barley premiums continued to widen, with the malting-feed spread now at $25/t tonne after trading early this year at $3-$5/t.
Rain in eastern Australia and lower selection rates across most areas have seen the market look for good-quality malting barley at $300/t plus FIS Kwinana.
Feed barley demand remains isolated, with most buyers waiting for more clarity on production potential out of the Northern Hemisphere.
Strong canola shipping to Europe continues, with marketers covering some of their early requirements.
However, the market in the deferred months post May shipment remains non-existent as crushers look to wait for the Northern Hemisphere crop.
This may cap any upside in prices, as marketers will be reluctant to hold significant volumes of canola into a market that is clearly lower beyond June shipment.
The Albany zone had good harvesting weather last week with warmer conditions across most of the zone.
Some rain fell in the southern parts of the zone early last week, but more warm to hot weather this week will see deliveries start to increase again.
The majority of growers have finished canola and have moved on to barley, wheat and oats.
The overall grain quality is good with some minor quality issues in areas impacted by waterlogging.
All sites are open and are receiving grain, with average cycle time slightly decreasing with the move to wheat.
Harvest has been progressing well in the zone, and many growers are pushing hard to finish before Christmas.
Wheat dominates the receivals now with barley tapering off in the zone.
CBH’s quality team has now focused on silo bags that have been filled on farm, and it has been sending teams into the field to sample and co-ordinate the delivery of that grain.
All sites remain open, although storage space has become tight at many.
Most sites have outloading options to keep them open for grower deliveries, and the average zone cycle time is on par with previous weeks.
Some sites are expected to fill and close this week.
The Geraldton Zone had a disrupted week with harvest bans and power outages.
Mainly wheat was received, with very few growers delivering other commodities.
Many growers are finished or nearly finished harvest, and some sites will close this week due to being full to capacity.
Kwinana North Zone
The zone had good harvesting conditions in the past week, and mostly wheat is being received, with only small amounts of canola and barley still to come in.
Grain quality across all commodities is still tracking well, and yields are above expectations at this stage.
All sites in the zone remain open for receivals, although some sites across the zone will fill and close in the next seven to 10 days.
The average cycle time has improved with the switch to predominantly wheat.
Kwinana South Zone
Apart from the mid-week harvest bans, the Kwinana South Zone had good harvesting conditions in the past week.
Wheat was the main grain received, and only small amounts of canola and barley are still to come in.
Yields continue to be well above expectations for wheat, and minimal quality issues have been seen.
The average cycle time has slightly improved again this week, but some sites will fill and close within the next two to seven days.
Source: CBH Group