SOUTH Australia’s major bulk handler Viterra received 296,773 tonnes of grain in the week to 10 November, down slightly from 309,021t in the previous week because of cool and showery weather which slowed harvest and deliveries.
While receivals in both the Western and Eastern regions were up last week, the Central region’s receivals were down nearly 40,000 tonnes on the previous week due to the cooler weather.
Viterra Western region operations manager Nick Pratt said deliveries went into 25 sites in the region in the week to 10 November.
“Sites in the Upper Eyre Peninsula continue to receive the largest volume, while our sites in the south are just getting started with some deliveries of canola and barley,” Mr Pratt said.
Viterra Central region operations manager Jack Tansley said despite the impact of the cool weather, last Wednesday was the region’s third-biggest receival day for the harvest to date.
“Growers were eager to start deliveries as soon as the warmer weather broke mid-week, and the majority of the activity was at our northern sites,” Mr Tansley said.
“Our Snowtown site was our busiest overall.”
While most deliveries into the Viterra system continue to be barley, an increase of wheat and other commodities has been noted in the past week.
Viterra Eastern region operations manager Jo Klitscher said the Eastern region’s harvest was yet to fully commence.
“Eight of our sites are now receiving grain in the region, with our Parilla site welcoming its first delivery of lentils on 6 November,” Ms Klitscher said.
“We are well prepared and raring to start in the region and, fingers crossed, the weather improves for growers to really start their harvest.”
Port Lincoln upgrade unveiled
Viterra’s Port Lincoln site has undergone a $6-million infrastructure upgrade in the wake of its rail supply-line closing and dependence on road for grain deliveries.
The upgrade was unveiled yesterday (Tuesday), and included a walk-through for growers of the site’s new traffic management flow.
The spend has included the conversion of three sheds to unload trucks, electrical-upgrade works and construction of roadworks for a new class of high-productivity vehicles.
Mr Pratt said the Port Lincoln site balanced being a local delivery site for growers and a key export terminal in South Australia for multiple exporters shipping a range of commodities.
“We can efficiently load vessels larger than panamax vessels in under three days with loading rates of up to 3000t per hour, which provides significant value for the industry.
“We have strong demand for shipping out of Port Lincoln in the coming months with bookings from multiple exporters bound for different export markets.
“Port Lincoln is also a key site for Eyre Peninsula growers to deliver into and the new infrastructure will improve efficiency and help growers deliver more quickly at the site given there is more unloading points and a larger area to operate in.”
The Port Lincoln upgrade is part of Viterra’s $15M capital investment at the site over the past three years, with a further $3.8M to be spent next year.
“Investments at Viterra’s upcountry sites have also formed an important part of the smooth transition to road transport.
“Our Cummins and Lock sites underwent roadwork upgrades for trucks to safely and efficiently out-turn.
“We’ve built an additional 50,000t of storage at Cummins, and also installed extra equipment at the site as well as at Rudall, to efficiently load grain from silos to trucks.
“This harvest, we’ve created efficiencies that we’ve been able to pass back to growers and made investments in the supply chain for the benefit of growers including reducing freight rates, dynamic binning for barley and the new Viterra app.”
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