Shiploads of grain head to the east

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - BREEDING SUCCESS -

RECORD-break­ing vol­umes of grain could be shipped do­mes­ti­cally from West­ern Aus­tralia across to the east coast, as west­ern grain pro­duc­tion looks set to ac­count for more than half the to­tal na­tional crop.

Up to 2.5 mil­lion tonnes of grain could be shipped from WA ports this sea­son, in a bid to keep up with de­mand from de­pleted eastern states and South Aus­tralia.

A re­cent Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Agri­cul­tural and Re­source Eco­nom­ics and Sciences re­port es­ti­mated WA would pro­duce about 56 per cent of the na­tion’s win­ter crop for the 2018-19 sea­son, com­pared with an av­er­age of 36 per cent over the pre­vi­ous 20 years.

Bulk grain han­dler CBH gen­eral man­ager David Cap­per said the Kwinana zone in WA is likely to break its grain pro­duc­tion record this sea­son.

“Some ar­eas of the net­work, yield has well and truly out­stripped what we were ex­pect­ing,” Mr Cap­per said.

“Ship­ping has been an ab­so­lute roller­coaster. We thought we would have a very quiet pe­riod com­ing into the back end of the year. The drought on the east coast, and strong de­mand for feed bar­ley, at the mo­ment there’s been a lift in our ex­port ca­pac­ity,” Mr Cap­per said.

“It’s a bit of a guess, it could be any­where from 2 to 2.5 mil­lion tonnes of grain go east. It de­pends on what har­vest they do have.”

A mea­gre har­vest on Aus­tralia’s east coast, cou­pled with an in­creased amount of ce­real crops cut for hay in re­cent months, has eaten into east coast grain pro­duc­tion.

Mean­while, a bumper crop is be­ing de­liv­ered to grain re­ceiver sites across WA.

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