Record ARTC grain train helps cap northern feed values

Liz Wells, June 26, 2018

The longest grain train in the history of the ARTC network has brought 6228 tonnes of South Australian wheat into the drought-hit northern NSW market. (Photo: AWB)

THE LONGEST grain train in the history of the ARTC network has been unloaded in northern New South Wales this week to help cap grain prices being paid by feedlots small and large.

The 1.8 kilometre-long train last week loaded 6228 tonnes of wheat from South Australia’s southern Flinders Ranges area into its 101 wagons at Cargill’s GrainFlow site at Crystal Brook.

GrainFlow site manager, Dave Arbon, said the entire train could not be loaded at the same time due to the length.

“On the first day, using one rail bin, we loaded 70 wagons in six hours at a loading rate of 450 tonnes per hour,” Mr Arbon said.

The Southern Short-Haul Rail (SSR) train was loaded for Arrow Commodities, and has made its way to Moree via Newcastle.

An industry source said trucks were ferrying the wheat from the Moree railhead to family owned and corporate feedlots, mostly in slopes country to the east of the regional centre.

“The market’s gotten to a point where it’s working to bring grain into northern NSW and southern Queensland by bulk vessels, train and road, and I think it might have capped the market.”

Wheat railed up from southern GrainCorp storages, and in the latest Arrow offering, has been offered at around $380 per tonne free on truck, which equates to a delivered feedlot price in the low $400s.

“Trucks are still working at a road freight cost of $115/t from the Victorian border to Texas, and once they get up to those levels, bringing grain up by train is going to work too.”

Prior to last week’s ARTC train movement, the network’s longest grain train was believed to be a 73-wagon train which measured 1.3km and brought grain into northern NSW in 2015.


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