WA grain prices hold steady

Countryman - - NEWS - Melissa Wil­liams

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.

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