DAILY site receival records have been broken at 14 sites across Western Australia in a week where 2 million tonnes (Mt) was delivered into the CBH Group network, according to the CBH Operations Update for the week to yesterday.
This has lifted deliveries for the harvest to date to 6.3Mt following a week of mostly fine weather.
Chief operations officer Mick Daw said reported yields were coming in above expectations across most zones.
“Over the last week, we have seen an increase in daily tonnages and we are now receiving in excess of 400,000t per day,” Mr Daw said.
“However, as we communicated at pre-harvest meetings, given the significant size of this year’s crop, more sites and services will fill and close earlier this year if we can’t keep them open with essential harvest outloading.
“This is starting to occur at various sites across the state.”
Mr Daw acknowledged that this may be frustrating for growers.
“While some services will close at some sites, growers will have options at larger sites, or sites where we have built emergency storage.”
This year, CBH has already built 1.5Mt of emergency storage with 2Mt planned, and is adding further emergency storage to this capacity.
Wheat protein spread widens
On the back of ongoing rain in eastern Australia and its potential impact on quality, CBH reports wheat spreads between APW and ASW have blown out to $80 per tonne.
“The market is focused on securing APW and higher-protein grades as flour millers in Asia look for alternative supplies of high-protein wheat.
“Whilst feed demand remains positive, feed wheat will need to compete with corn.”
Malting barley markets are relatively quiet, with limited quality supplies available out of Australia as a result of recent rain.
“International maltsters may find it increasingly difficult to source quality, which may assist malt-to-feed spreads.”
CBH reports European canola demand for January-March 2022 remains firm, but with shipping slots at most Australian grain ports sold out for the quarter, the market has become increasingly difficult for Australian exporters to access.
“Australian exporters are now focused on the second quarter of 2022 prior to the Northern Hemisphere crop.”
Following is a round-up of conditions by zone:
The Albany zone experienced good harvesting conditions with warmer weather at the start of last week, followed by cooler weather with scattered showers that resulted in a drop-off in deliveries the end of week.
Growers in the south Katanning area had started harvesting before the weekend rain, joining the majority of growers across the zone now harvesting canola, barley and oats.
Grain quality is good, with canola and barley yielding well above estimates.
Most sites in the zone are now open for receivals and the balance of sites will open towards the end of this week.
Harvest is progressing well in the zone, and despite rain again over the weekend, the zone saw its biggest week for receivals this year.
This included the breaking of daily records at the port with 37,150t, and Grass Patch with 15,730t.
Most of the zone’s canola has now been delivered, barley is approximately half completed, and the wheat and pulse harvest is now under way.
Moisture windows have proved challenging with the weather, but with high-moisture services available, growers have options to deliver and make the most of favourable harvesting conditions.
Canola oil content is fair, with a large proportion now in storage, and wheat and barley quality is also described as fair, with malting barley tonnages increasing in the last week.
Most of the Geraldton Zone has had good harvesting conditions over the past week, with only the coastal strip being slightly impacted by increased moisture due to the cooler weather.
Canola, barley and lupins continue to make up the majority of grain received, and the volume of wheat being delivered is quickly increasing.
Grain quality for all commodities remains very good, and wheat crops are also delivering above-expected yields to follow the trend set by canola and barley.
Kwinana North Zone
The Kwinana North zone has had very good harvesting conditions in the past week, with canola and barley again dominating receivals, but many growers have now finished harvesting these crops and moved on to wheat.
Yields continue to be well above expectations for all commodities, and grain quality remains good across all commodities.
Kwinana South Zone
Some areas had moisture in the air last week, which slowed harvest slightly, but overall conditions were good.
However, some areas of the zone received rain on the weekend and this slowed progress.
Growers are finishing canola and barley in the north of the zone, with most switching over to wheat.
The south of the zone, which is still very green in some areas, is now starting with canola, barley and oats.
Overall, grain quality is good across all commodities, with yields continuing to track slightly higher than expected.