WA harvest deliveries pass 5Mt: CBH

Grain Central, November 25, 2019

Harvesting wheat in the Gibson district north of Esperance: Photo: Whiting family, Shepwok Downs

WESTERN Australian growers have delivered 5.15 million tonnes (Mt) of grain, including around 2Mt of wheat, in the harvest to Friday, with some growers in the northern Geraldton zone now winding up their harvest programs.

Variable weather conditions were experienced across all five CBH Group zones last week, with hot and windy weather over last weekend resulting in some harvest bans.

Once the bans were lifted, warm and dry weather made for good harvesting conditions early in the week, but following cooler weather slowed harvest in some areas.

“We had our largest week to date, receiving 1.9Mt, but this was lower than it could have been given cooler weather over the last few days,” CBH general manager operations Ben Macnamara said.

Deliveries of wheat increased over last week.

Geraldton zone

Warm weather last week in the Geraldton zone made for perfect harvesting conditions, and two sites have shut for the season, with more likely to follow this week as harvest in the zone draw to a close.

CBH said quality of grain delivered has been better than expected.

Kwinana North zone

Harvest bans over last weekend slowed deliveries, but weekdays saw favourable harvesting weather, and some growers will finish their harvest programs this week.

Wheat is now accounting for the majority of deliveries, and first site closures for the season can be expected this week.

Kwinana South zone

Harvest bans last weekend slowed deliveries, but the pace picked up during the week with favourable weather, and some of the areas which got off to a slow start have now making good progress.

The zone had its biggest receival week to date in the week to Friday.

Albany zone

Tonnes are being moved across the network, with shipping due to start from the CBH’s Albany terminal this week.

Harvest weather has been favourable for most areas with the exception of some heavy wind and rain between Cranbrook and Albany mid-week which saw some sites close briefly.

All areas across the zone are in full swing, with the western areas moving strongly.

Barley continues to make up the majority of deliveries, with wheat beginning to come in as canola eases off.

Esperance zone

Harvest weather last week was ideal, and saw growers moving quickly through their harvest program, with many expected to finish this week.

Wheat is now making up the majority of receivals, and while yields have generally been lower than expected, quality has exceeded expectations.

Table 1: Tonnes received as of 3am 22 November. Source: CBH Group

Market Update


The wheat market continued to move sideways with prices at A$330 per tonne for APW free in store (FIS) Kwinana.

Grower selling has been very quiet, with the majority of growers waiting until the end of harvest before marketing their grain.

Australian Noodle Wheat prices have continued to increase as the market looks to cover shipments, and a tightened supply-and-demand becomes evident.

Higher protein receivals continue, with limited stocks of lower-protein product, which was the mainstay of the industry last season.

This is compressing spreads between high and lower protein grades as the feed markets of eastern Australia and The Philippines focus on the lower protein grades. While there is select international interest on the higher protein grades, this is limited as Australian higher protein wheat competes with Russian, Canadian and US wheat.


CBH barley receivals in the week to Friday have continued the trend of low malt selection rates, with less than 20pc of the WA crop meeting malting specifications.

This should place a floor in malting prices as the market looks to secure supplies.


The canola market has continued to strengthen in the Kwinana zone, with GM canola up to $585 per tonne FIS, up $30/t since early November, as the trade attempt to cover its short positions.

Non GM canola was also up over the week, trading at $630/t FIS Kwinana as traders look to cover demand for European crushers.


Oat prices have remained firm at $365-370/t FIS on the back of domestic and container-packing interest.

Limited supplies, and reluctance from growers to sell, have ensured a firm market in the short term.

In the global market, Australian oats are priced well above European and South American oats, and this may see Australian oats become uncompetitive later in the year.

Source: CBH Group





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