GrainCorp, Viterra combined harvest intake nudges 10Mt

Grain Central, November 24, 2020

Trucks in the queue under yesterday’s threatening skies at GrainCorp’s Red Bend site near Forbes in central NSW. Photo: Jim Cronin

DELIVERIES to eastern Australia’s two biggest bulk handlers, GrainCorp and Viterra, have hit 9.9 million tonnes (Mt), according to their latest harvest reports.

Favourable weather has seen more sites open across both networks as harvest slows in earlier areas and accelerates in Victoria, South Australia’s southern regions, and southern New South Wales.

GrainCorp is the major bulk handler for Queensland, NSW and Victoria (Table 1), while Viterra is the dominant operator in South Australia, and has two sites in Victoria.

Week to 23 Nov Harvest to 23 Nov
Queensland 23,000 921,300
New South Wales 1,742,120 5,438,600
Victoria 614,000 914,600
Total tonnes 2,379,120 7,274,500

Table 1: GrainCorp harvest receivals to 23 November 2020.

GrainCorp reports some NSW sites have taken record receivals in the week to Monday, and additional bunker storage is being arranged at some sites in the state’s north-west to cope with the large volume of grain still coming in from farms.

Recent rain in NSW and Victoria has delayed receival activity, particularly in southern-most sites, and some of GrainCorp’s harvest workforce is moving south to handle increasing receivals in Victoria and southern NSW.

GrainCorp reports quality has been consistent across the commodities thanks to mostly dry conditions in recent weeks.

Biggest week for Viterra

Viterra has had its biggest receival week in the harvest to Sunday, with a 1.2Mt intake pushing total harvest receivals past 2.6Mt.

Viterra operations manager Michael Hill said Wednesday was its busiest day, with more than 200,000t coming in over the weighbridges.

“Our supply chain has adapted and continued to operate through COVID-19 restrictions and it’s very pleasing to see the efforts and support of growers, carriers and employees during this time,” Mr Hill said.

“The warmer weather has given growers the opportunity to have a good run of harvesting and with this, we continued to extend our opening hours.

“Our flexible opening hours have been well received by growers and we’ll continue to work closely with them and respond to their needs to ensure we are providing a valuable and efficient service.”

Viterra’s Western region operations manager Nick Pratt said the Port Lincoln site broke its receival record twice last week, with 13,148t tonnes delivered on Tuesday, and 13,512t coming in on Wednesday.

“It’s great to see records being broken as growers start to really get going with harvest.”

Viterra Central region operations manager Jack Tansley said the region received the same tonnes last week as it had in the past seven weeks of harvest combined.

“All sites in the Central region are now receiving grain after our Eudunda, Saddleworth and Jamestown sites received their first loads,” Mr Tansley said.

“Our lentil receivals peaked last week as we saw very large volumes into Ardrossan, Saddleworth and Jamestown, and we’re seeing more wheat deliveries as the barley harvest finishes up.”

The Eastern region also had a busy week with extended opening hours.

“Our Bordertown, Coonalpyn and Wolseley sites all received their first loads last week, as harvest picked up across the region,” Viterra Eastern region operations manager Jo Klitscher said.

“We also had a daily receival record broken two days in a row in the east, when our Werrimull site broke its record on Tuesday and Wednesday from its previous 2016-17 harvest record.

“The site received over 5061t in one day, which is a great achievement for employees, growers and carriers.

“This season we have employees from our Dooen site operating Werrimull for the first time and they are doing a fantastic job managing the harvest safely and efficiently.

“We’re still in the earlier stages of harvest in the region, so we expect to see a few more big days in the coming weeks which growers and our employees are excited about.”

Week to 22 Nov Harvest to 22 Nov
Western region 432,626 1,137,980
Central region 553,641 1,049,366
Eastern region 269,163 432,888
Total tonnes 1,255,430 2,620,234

Table 2: Viterra harvest receivals to 22 November 2020.

Source: GrainCorp, Viterra



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