WA grain prices hold steady
Fickle weather conditions across the grainbelt in the past two weeks and staggered crop maturity have slowed the start to the State’s harvest.
But high grain volumes are now starting to flow into bins, with an estimated 807,380 tonnes delivered to CBH by Tuesday morning, and prices are holding steady.
To the start of this week, 480,00t had been received in the Geraldton port zone, Kwinana zone had received 310,000t, Esperance 17,000t and Albany 380t.
CBH operations general manager David Capper said despite the later harvest start, more grain had come into the system compared to this time last year and activity was expected to pickup significantly if there was a run of good weather.
“Growers in the Albany zone made their first deliveries of canola last week, about two or three weeks behind recent years, but high moisture levels are delaying deliveries of oats and barley,” he said.
Mr Capper said Albany zone grain yields and quality were difficult to predict this year, given the many variables during the growing season, but total tonnages might be less than 2017-18 levels.
He said moisture issues were hampering and slowing harvest in the Esperance port zone but activity had picked up in Geraldton for cereals and canola.
“Grain quality has been a little varied, especially in wheat, but yields have been very good for all crops in Geraldton,” he said. “Harvest in the Kwinana zone has been slowly increasing in the past week, with most deliveries coming from the north of the zone and predominantly made up of barley.”
Industry analysts have flagged WA’s total grain production will be about 15 million tonnes in 2019-20, including about 10mt of wheat.
The Grain Industry Association of WA is expected to update its official State crop forecast tomorrow
In early October, its WA crop estimate was 14.2mt, including 8.1mt of wheat. Grain prices have remained buoyant and above fiveyear average levels, in part due to WA’s delayed harvest start and drought conditions interstate.