Search CBH Group
You are not logged into LoadNet [Access LoadNet]

CBH News 2004 


December

22 DecemberGrain industry call to action on insect resistance to phosphine

CBH is working closely with industry groups in Western Australia on "Phosure", a campaign to prolong the life of phosphine in order to save growers and the industry significant costs associated with switching to alternative fumigation methods.

Phosphine is a non-contact, residue-free fumigant that has been used as the primary pest control product in Western Australia for the past 20 years.

Ern Kostas, "Phosure" Project Co-ordinator, CBH Grain Protection said the growing resistance of grain insects to phosphine experienced in WA can be largely attributed to poor application methods throughout the supply chain, particularly on-farm.

"If resistance continues to increase, new fumigation methods will need to be introduced into grain storage management both on and off farm," Mr Kostas said.

"The financial impact of losing phosphine within CBH is estimated to be at least $40 million annually in alternative product costs. This essentially means on-farm fumigation would cost growers an additional $5 per tonne per fumigation, which is a significant burden to bear.

"In addition, it would result in increased costs in alternative control strategies, disruption to logistics pathways and occupational health and safety issues around new fumigants or chemicals that are likely to be used."

Mr Kostas said CBH and other industry organisations, including grain cleaners, farm advisors, farmer representative groups and the Department's of Agriculture and Health, are working more closely now than ever before to extend the life of phosphine in Western Australia.

"The longevity of existing markets and access to premium markets is dependent on quality. CBH has worked closely with growers and industry partners for the past 20 years to establish WA's strong reputation as a supplier of high quality grain and a leader in sealed storage fumigation," he said.

"The use of phosphine as a pest control fumigant has assisted WA to maintain its image as a reliable supplier of quality grain.

"We all realise that the time to act is now. By working together with industry and growers to ensure the effective and safe application of phosphine at all stages of the supply chain, we can arrest the increase in phosphine resistant insects, saving growers money in the long term and maintaining our access to premium markets."

[Close]
14 DecemberCBH Esperance trial to grow value for canola growers

CBH, in conjunction with the South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA), has undertaken a trial to clean canola on behalf of Esperance growers.

The trial, which involved 2,000 tonnes of canola, is anticipated to save growers in the region significant time and money.

CBH Manager Grain Technology, David Fienberg said the trial was prompted by swathing carried out on canola crops in the Esperance area and the ongoing problem of sand contamination over the past three years.

"Due to the nature of swathing, we were finding that canola loads were being rejected on initial delivery to CBH sites in the Esperance zone," Mr Fienberg said.

"Growers were having to take their loads away to be cleaned and re-delivered to CBH at a later date, costing them both time and money during the crucial harvest period.

 

"With this trial, CBH cleaned canola for growers, for a fee, once they had delivered to site. This allowed growers to deliver their grain quickly and avoid the hassle of having to clean on-farm prior to delivery or re-delivering once their grain has been cleaned off-site.

Mr Fienberg said the trial was further demonstration of the flexibility of the CBH Group in providing services to growers that enable them to grow greater value for their crop.

 

"We have had great support from SEPWA in implementing this trial and are working closely with the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service to ensure we continue to export top quality grain from WA," he said.

"Grain quality is an industry responsibility and CBH remains committed to ensuring we all work together to maintain our outstanding reputation in this area and create the best value possible for WA growers."

[Close]
13 DecemberGrain Pool announces December payments for 2003-04 pools

Grain Pool will pay $88 million in pool payments this Friday, 17 December, to growers who delivered to the 2003-04 barley, canola and lupin pools.

Growers participating in the 2003-04 barley pool will receive $22.50 per tonne for feed barley and $27.50 per tonne for malting barley. Lupin growers will be paid $35.00 per tonne and canola growers will receive $30.00 per tonne for their 2003-04 pool deliveries.

Grain Pool has bought forward the January 2005 advances and combined them with the December 2004 advance to increase cash flow to growers, clearly demonstrating the strength of the pools in delivering strong returns to growers.

Final equity payments will be distributed in April and are anticipated to range between $9 and $19 per tonne for feed and malting barley, and between $11 and $21.50 per tonne for canola. Those participating in the 2003-04 lupin pool can expect to receive a final payment of between $8.50 and $18.50 per tonne.

[Close]
13 DecemberGrain Pool announces early pool closures

Grain Pool will close the number one pool for barley, lupins and canola on Tuesday, 21 December 2004, in order to protect value for pool participants.

The final equities for 2004-05 barley, canola and lupin pools have been reviewed with malting barley values increased to range between $185 and $200 per tonne from between $180 and $200 per tonne and feed barley values set at between $150 and $165 per tonne, up from between $145 and $165 per tonne. Canola and lupin values have both been reduced with canola values set at between $350 and $370 per tonne from between $360 and $380 per tonne and lupins reduced to between $165 and $175 per tonne from between $170 and $190 per tonne.

Grain Pool General Manager, Dr Andy Crane said the decision to close the pools early was based on the large volume of grain being delivered to the pools this harvest as a significant proportion of the volume issued through GLA licences were now coming into the pools.

"The impact of the GLA licences has already had a real cost impact on the pools," Dr Crane said.

"Grain Pool has hedged a good proportion of currency against anticipated pool receivals for 2004-05. However, it has become very clear that additional volume is now coming into the pools from growers who have decided that GLA licence holders are not going to buy their grain this season.

"That extra volume of grain will now have to be covered at SPOT currency which will dilute the value of the pools."

Dr Crane said growers who were currently harvesting could still take part in the number one pool through deferred delivery agreements.

 

"It is not our intention to penalise growers by closing the pools early, rather we are trying to protect the value of the pools and deliver the best prices possible to participating growers," he said.

"Growers who are still harvesting can take out deferred delivery agreements, which will allow all our regular growers to participate in this season's pools without having to deliver up until July 2005.

"If growers are unsure of the exact tonnage available for delivery to the pools because their harvest is incomplete, they can nominate a maximum amount they estimate will be delivered.

"With the deferred delivery agreement, growers are not required to nominate a variety or grade and there will be no washout penalty for failure to deliver the grain if the nominated tonnage is not achieved.

"We will also be opening a number two pool immediately following the closure of the number one pool, however, growers need to be aware that similar values to the number one pool cannot be guaranteed.

"In what is becoming a less predictable environment, the Grain Pool will continue to review the way pools operate to remain as flexible as possible while securing the best value to those who truly value pools."

[Close]

November

09 NovemberGrain Pool delivers early top-up payments to barley growers

Grain Pool has announced January top-up payments for growers participating in the 2004-05 barley pools.

The figures of $15 per tonne for malting barley and $5 per tonne for feed barley will be distributed to barley pool growers in January 2005 and are supported by the current pool indicators for 2004-05 crop with feed barley values ranging between $145-$165 per tonne and $170-$190 per tonne for malting barley.

Grain Pool General Manager, Dr Andy Crane said the recent firming of international barley markets and consideration of growers' cash flow requirements had prompted Grain Pool to move the usual March top-up payment forward to January.

"World barley market prices have recently stabilised as a result of smaller than anticipated Australian barley exports for the coming season and reduced supplies from the Black Sea. This limited supply situation is expected to impact on the level of Chinese demand over the next 12 months," he said.

"While the initial harvest advance figures announced in October were cautious due to the large supply of feed grain internationally, we do anticipate that malting values will improve to return in excess of $20 per tonne for malting barley above feed grain in the 2004-05 pool.

"I strongly encourage growers not to voluntarily downgrade their loads to feed grade this harvest on the assumption they will receive a better net return than malting grade.

"The fact of the matter is that delivering your malting varieties into malting stacks is going to provide significantly greater returns in the long-term."

Dr Crane said the decision to move top-up payments forward to January was a clear demonstration of the ability of pools to remain flexible in delivering excellent value and service to Western Australian growers.

"We operate in an increasingly changing industry environment and it is important that pools retain their ability to adapt to change," he said.

 "I believe Grain Pool has confirmed its ability to do this over the past 80 years and I have no doubt we will continue to adapt to change and remain a relevant and valuable marketing option for WA growers well into the future."

Gross pool indicators 2004-05

 

Harvest Advance

Estimated January Top-up

Current Total Pool Indicator

Barley

$

$

$

Malting

110.00*

15.00

170-190*

Feed

100.00

5.00

145-165

*Malting values for Gairdner, Baudin and Hamelin will be at $5 premium for initial harvest advance and within indicated range.

 

[Close]
08 NovemberCBH GROUP TAKES MAJOR STAKE IN ASIAN FLOUR MILLING

The CBH Group has signed an agreement to take a direct interest in grain processing via a $A72 million investment in two of Asia's leading flour millers.

Pacific Agrifoods, The CBH Group's joint venture with The Salim Group established in April of this year will acquire a 66.7% stake in Interflour, one of Asia's largest flour milling operations with four flour mills in Malaysia along with a plant and a grain terminal in Vietnam.

This holding in Interflour is being acquired from Interpacific Holding, a major Asia-Pacific distributor of pharmaceutical and healthcare products. Interpacific Holding will retain a 33.3% interest in Interflour.

As part of this transaction, The CBH Group has taken a one third interest in the Berdikari Flour Mills of Indonesia, the world's fourth largest flour miller which when combined with the Interflour assets, represents around 1.5 million tonnes of productive capacity.

Completion of the acquisitions will proceed with the finalisation of usual conditions.

CBH Chairman, Robert Sewell said the transactions provided benefits and cross industry access to all parties.

"This is an important step for Western Australia that demonstrates CBH's commitment to add value for grain growers," he said.

"At the moment, growers are only receiving around $200 per tonne for their wheat at the farm gate. The international price for their product climbs to around 3-4 times that after it is processed into flour.

"This arrangement provides an exciting opportunity for WA grain growers to take a share of the grain value chain. Rather than simply exporting raw commodities, growers now have the opportunity to capture extra value created through the processing of their grain."

Mr Sewell said the agreement would provide a greater degree of surety for the international demand of Australian wheat by displacing wheat previously supplied from the US, Canada, Indian Sub-Continent and Europe.

"Western Australia is an export oriented state and this transaction will allow for a greater guarantee of supply of Australian wheat via our existing system of wheat marketing to the international market," he said.

"Growers will now have a closer relationship with the end user and own a real stake in producing not only the best wheat in the world but the very best flour as well."

The Salim Group Chief Executive, Mr Anthoni Salim was similarly enthusiastic.

"The acquisition of Interflour opens up the opportunities to create real value for our respective organisations," he said.

"For example, the Salim Group subsidiary, Indofoods owns Indonesia's largest flour miller Bogasari, an association with potential for aligning business interests in a number of areas, including the acquisition of wheat from Western Australia."

Dr Peter Zuellig, Chairman of Interpacific Holding said that the sale of a portion of their Interflour assets was a significant step for the organisation.

"When considering this transaction, we were seeking a partner that could offer a long term, strategic fit for the business, someone that could add some real value. Pacific Agrifoods certainly delivers this."

Mr Sewell agreed. "By turning our key customers into partners, through transactions like this, we are strengthening the relationship between international customers and further developing the market for the growers of Western Australia. This is good for growers and for the future of the Western Australian and Australian grain industries.

"It is clearly a win-win situation when the industry is working together with the common goal of creating increased value, better grain quality and enhanced quality of final product."

[Close]

October

28 OctoberManaged Pools deliver value to WA growers

The Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool, an innovative wheat pool developed by AgraCorp and commodity management company Plum Grove and launched in April this year, has closed its seeding pool and opened a new harvest pool for this season's harvest.

 Josh Roberts, AgraCorp Senior Trading Manager, said the Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pools had received strong support from WA growers throughout the year. However, the continued decline in wheat prices and appreciation of the Australian dollar in recent months had prompted the closure of the pre-seeding and seeding pools in order to protect grower returns.

 "Support for the pools has been excellent and with both the pre-seeding and seeding pools currently running ahead of their benchmark, the AWB National Pool, we've been able to provide good returns to participating growers," Mr Roberts said.

 "Given the success of these pools we have now opened a third pool, the Harvest Delivery pool, to enable growers to participate in the Professional Choice Managed Wheat pools for their harvest deliveries.

 "The harvest pool differs from the previous pools in that it is a delivery pool, not a contract, and the previous minimum of 100 tonnes has been waived.

 "Through the harvest pool, payment options will be available and full Golden Rewards will be payable to growers, as per Golden Rewards grade spreads.

 "The harvest pool will also give growers who were previously concerned about their production risk the opportunity to diversify their price risk by delivering a portion of their crop to the Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool."

 Mr Roberts said it was important for growers to understand the implications of their wheat marketing decisions and the impact of these decisions on the price growers received for their grain.

 "When growers deliver to the AWB National Pool at harvest time, they haven't actually sold their wheat, but given it to AWB to sell on their behalf over the next 15 months or so. This leaves growers with significant exposure to price movements at harvest time," he said.

 "The Professional Choice Managed Wheat pools have been designed to provide growers with an alternative to the National Pool, offering smaller pools that allow growers to take advantage of opportunities as soon as they present themselves.

 "The Professional Choice Managed Wheat pools also give growers the benefit of having professionals manage the components of wheat prices - futures, foreign exchange and basis -providing them with a return that is benchmarked against the final AWB pool return.

 "Delivering wheat at harvest is the culmination of a year's hard work. Just like any 'investment', it is sensible to diversify and spread your risk. The Professional Choice Managed Wheat pools give growers the option to do this."

 For more information on how to deliver to the Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool's harvest pool contact your local AgraCorp Regional Manger, Grower Services on 1800 199 083 or Plum Grove on 9335 4773.

Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool Equity



Pool

Status

Final Equity

Grower Equity*

Seeding Pool

Closed

$215.50

$209.09

Pre-Seeding Pool

Closed

$205.50

$200.36

Harvest Pool

Open for harvest deliveries

$203.00

$197.93

*Grower Equity = Final Equity less all management fees and performance fees.

 

 

 



[Close]
26 OctoberBetter Farm IQ Excellence Awards to showcase innovation in on-farm QA

The CBH Group is providing Better Farm IQ growers the opportunity to win an all-expenses paid tour to Asia for two, to visit some of Grain Pool's key customers, by showcasing their excellence in on-farm quality assurance practices.

 A winner from each of CBH's Albany, Esperance and Geraldton zones and two winners from the Kwinana zone will be selected.

 CBH Better Farm IQ was introduced in April this year and has since had over 400 growers participating in training courses and 183 farm businesses register for the program.

 CBH Chief Executive Officer, Imre Mencshelyi said he had been overwhelmed by the positive response from growers participating in the workshops and those that had applied the program to their farming practices.

 "The aim of Better Farm IQ is to better manage on-farm food safety risks to ensure our customers get the quality of grain they want and we continue to grow value for the growers of this state," Mr Mencshelyi said.

 "We are anticipating around one quarter of the grain crop will be quality assured this harvest, which is a terrific achievement for Better Farm IQ's first year of operation.

 "The CBH Better Farm IQ Excellence Awards are a way of recognising the outstanding innovation of WA grain growers, helping maintain grain quality throughout the supply chain and preserving WA's competitive advantage of supplying clean and green grain to the world.

 "Grain quality is crucial to the success of the WA grain industry and it is our collective responsibility to ensure we maintain our reputation as a supplier of quality grain and our competitive edge in the international marketplace."

 To enter, Better Farm IQ growers need to submit a written application outlining the steps they have taken to improve quality practices on-farm. Growers who succeed at this stage will be visited on-farm by QA experts and the finalists will be interviewed by a panel which will include one of the CBH Group's international customers.

 For more information on the Better Farm IQ Excellence Awards, visit the Better Farm IQ members' area on the CBH website at

www.cbh.com.au or contact Nicole Kerr, Australian Grain Centre on 9454 0359.

[Close]
26 OctoberCascade and Lake King receive boost for harvest

CBH Group Chairman Robert Sewell opened the recently upgraded Cascade and Lake King receival points last Thursday, which will provide two key primary sites to the region and greater efficiencies and services to growers in the Esperance zone.

 "The CBH Group is committed to growing value for the growers of this state. That's why we've invested more than $24 million into the CBH receival site network for 2004 and have bought forward $7 million to upgrade a number of sites in preparation for this harvest from the 2005 capital works program. In addition, we are contributing $100 million to upgrade the Albany Port terminal," Mr Sewell said.

 "The Esperance zone, in particular, has seen significant growth over the last decade and future projected growth in productivity in the region has encouraged the CBH Board of Directors to upgrade primary grain receival sites in the area.

 "Through our network strategy, the CBH Group aims to streamline services to ensure the sustainability of the network while delivering a greater range of flexible services that directly meet growers' needs.

 "Cascade will now have the capacity to store 180,200 tonnes of grain thanks to a new 60,000 tonne Q Type storage. The installation of two new 500 tonnes per hour elevators will allow an increased inloading capacity of 2,300 tonnes per hour.

 "Greater efficiencies have also been created at Lake King with the installation of two new 20,000 tonne concrete storage cells complete with 500 tonnes per hour inloading equipment. In addition, Lake King has received a new marshalling area, a Type 9 sampling platform and a 160 tonne weighbridge.

 "Both Cascade and Lake King will operate as primary sites under the CBH network strategy. Primary sites will be the fastest and easiest way for growers to deliver their grain this harvest and will offer increased services and longer operational hours, saving time and money during the busy harvest period.

 "CBH is looking forward to working together with growers this harvest to get the grain in the bin quickly and ensure grower returns are maximized."

[Close]
18 October9.8 million tonne harvest begins for CBH

Harvest has commenced in Western Australia with the first load for the 2004-05 harvest delivered to the CBH Geraldton Port Terminal last week.

 CBH Operations Manager, Grant Thompson said the lack of rain over the past few months had forced CBH to again revise its estimate downwards to 9.8 million tonnes, almost five million tonnes less than received during the bumper 2003-04 harvest.

 "The lack of rain during the crucial September/October period has had a significant impact on yields throughout the state," Mr Thompson said.

 "The south west region, in particular, is very dry and crops still need a substantial amount of rain to achieve decent yields. With the outlook for warming conditions during coming weeks it does not appear as though we will get the rains needed to achieve average yields.

 "We are expecting the frosts experienced earlier in the year to have an impact on receivals as harvest unfolds. There is already evidence of frost damage in some of the crops that have been delivered in the north of the state."

 Mr Thompson said CBH staff would continue to work with growers throughout harvest to ensure the grain gets in the bin quickly and growers can get the best value for their crops.

 "One of the strategies we have in place to assist in growing value this harvest is through LoadNet, our new, improved internet service. LoadNet will prove an invaluable tool for growers during harvest that will allow them to track deliveries and payments, and transfer grain online," he said.

 "Priority trucks will be operating again for this harvest to help maintain local services and make efficient use of resources. We will make every effort to minimise disruption to normal services and ask that growers be understanding and patient if CBH transfer trucks are operating at their site.

 "CBH has invested more than $24 million in infrastructure at strategic sites this year and an additional $100 million will upgrade the Albany Port Terminal.

 "Work at the Albany terminal commenced in July of this year and will continue throughout harvest. We ask that growers help us this harvest by avoiding delivering grain directly to the Albany Port Terminal while the upgrade is in progress.

 "Grain quality remains of great importance this harvest and CBH will continue to stringently monitor the quality of grain delivered into the receival point network to ensure we maintain our access to international markets.

 "After a bumper year in 2003-04 that was full of some outstanding achievements, we are looking forward to once again working together with growers to ensure a successful harvest in 2004-05."

[Close]
12 OctoberGrain Pool delivers 2004-05 harvest advance

Grain Pool has announced the first harvest advance payment for growers participating in the barley, lupins and canola pools for 2004-05.

The figures of $110 per tonne for malting barley and $100 per tonne for feed barley will be distributed to participating pool growers commencing the first week of November. Growers participating in the canola pool will receive an advance of $260 per tonne and those in the lupins pool will receive a payment of $112.50 per tonne.

General Manager Grain Pool, Dr Andy Crane said the prices were a realistic reflection of current world market values.

"A significant increase in the world production for this season coupled with a strengthening Australian dollar has seen local values remain at conservative levels in recent months.

"In the case of lupins, a record US soybean crop has seen world protein prices continue to decline throughout the year. This has been compounded by a record Canadian field pea crop and the continued strengthening of ocean freight rates. A strong Australian dollar has added to the decline of lupin values to export parity levels.

"With canola we have seen anticipated large stocks of oilseeds from the robust harvests in Europe, the US and Canada combined with limited world demand adding significant pressure on world oilseed values. Based on the current market outlook a conservative first advance has been established for the 2004-05 canola pool.

"Sizeable crops from the European Union and Black Sea region have also impacted significantly on world barley prices. The EU has produced close to 60 million tonnes of barley in 2004, around 4 million tonnes more than in 2003. It is expected that more than 5 million tonnes of this barley could go into EU intervention stocks for subsequent export with subsidies. If feed barley prices weaken, it may result in a flow on effect to malting barley values.

"Poor conditions in Canada are expected to result in a greater amount of feed barley from the region this season, which will see additional pressure on world feed barley prices. Grain Pool has therefore had to be very cautious in initial harvest advances considering the large supply of feed grain internationally.

"It is acknowledged the premium between malting and feed is low at this point, however further premiums will be paid with subsequent advances."

Dr Crane said despite the current world situation, Grain Pool pools remained a flexible, reliable and effective method of marketing grain for WA growers.

"One of the major benefits of the pooling system is that it allows us to secure stable returns in an uncertain market place through our planned approach to marketing," Dr Crane said.

"We will be continuing to grow value for grain growers throughout the coming year and ensuring they get the best returns for their product through the pooling system."

Gross pool indicators 2004-05



 

Harvest Advance 200-05

Current total pool indicator

Barley

$

$

Malting

110.00

165 - 185

Feed

100.00

140 - 160

Lupins

112.50

175 - 195

Canola

260.00

370 - 390

[Close]
11 OctoberGrain Pool condemns GLA over recent licensing decision

Grain Pool has condemned the Grain Licensing Authority's recent decision to grant a special licence for the export of 38,000 tonnes of canola to the sub-continent.

The supply of canola is believed to be destined for Pakistan, one of Grain Pool's crucial markets.

Dr Andy Crane said that Grain Pool was extremely concerned with the decision that will see WA grain compete directly with WA grain in a premium market.

"Once again licence applicants are targeting existing Grain Pool markets rather than finding new markets," he said.

"Grain Pool is at a loss to understand the GLA's decision to grant such a large volume of canola to the sub-continent, as it will undoubtedly impact on prices in the market and the value of returns to growers.

"The GLA granted the licence to a specific purchaser in an attempt to avoid local competition but this still undermines the single supplier status to the market.

"Grain Pool has established a premium for WA quality in Pakistan through its control of supply. The premium has been paid to growers in oil bonification payments via the pool but this is now at risk.

"The current crop receival estimate for 2004-05 is already fully committed to existing Grain Pool customers in premium markets.

"This will not increase the volume of canola supplied from WA to Pakistan. The volume will have to be removed from our own supply committed to the market or worse taken from our Japan allocation."

Dr Crane said Grain Pool had continuously worked closely with customers in the market to change WA's reputation from a supplier of inferior oil to a preferred supplier of quality oilseed.

"Through our research and development activities, education, and the establishment of strong partnerships with the majority of crushers in the region, Grain Pool has been able to successfully secure premium prices and surety of supply to premium markets for WA growers," Dr Crane said.

"From the GLA's licensing decisions over the last year, it seems as though we may have become victims of our own success creating an attractive market that others wish to join.

  " Every licence granted to an existing WA grower supplied market is another nail in the coffin for the pools and the single desk."With each licensing decision granted it becomes abundantly clear that the current interpretation of the Act is not working to enhance or add value to single desk arrangements in WA or provide greater long term value for the growers of this state.

"We are not against the granting of licenses when they are to new markets that return better value than is currently being achieved. So far this has not happened.

"We call on the Minister and those conducting the current review to make real changes to this process immediately."

[Close]

September

23 SeptemberCBH breaks shipping record

CBH has broken its previous 12 month shipping record of 11.2 million tonnes set in the bumper 1999-2000 harvest after loading 40,000 tonnes of malting barley onto the MV Prabhu Puni, bound for China from the Albany port terminal on Saturday, 18 September.

 The intense shipping program has seen a total of 11.5 million tonnes of grain exported from Western Australia since 1 November 2003 and the momentum is expected to continue throughout harvest 2004-05.

 Colin Tutt, General Manager Operations said the CBH Group had experienced an outstanding year in shipping thanks to the co-operation of CBH operational staff, marketers, transporters and local shires.

 "Getting last season's record crop from storages and onto ships represented a massive task which has been achieved quickly and effectively through the co-operation of all industry participants. I sincerely congratulate all for their hard work and dedication to getting the job done," Mr Tutt said.

 "The lack of rain over recent months has had an impact on yields throughout the state. This, combined with recent frost damage, has made it necessary for us to revise our estimate for the 2004-05 harvest downwards from 11 million tonnes to 10.4 million tonnes.

 "We will continue to revise our estimate leading into harvest, as the impact from the lack of rain and frost becomes clearer.

 "We have implemented comprehensive operational measures across the grainbelt to receive the grain efficiently throughout harvest 2004-05.

 "Primary sites will be in operation again this harvest which will be the fastest and easiest way for growers to deliver their grain.

 "Growers can take advantage of the increased services and longer operational hours offered at primary sites saving time and money during the busy harvest period.

 "I strongly encourage growers to plan ahead and attend their local pre-harvest meeting or contact their local District Office to find out what services will be available at their local sites this harvest.

 "This season we have implemented a review of our on-site sampling procedures to ensure that a fair, robust and consistent system operates across all receival points."

 Mr Tutt said that grain quality would continue to be a strong focus this season and the CBH Group staff will be rigorously monitoring the quality of grain delivered to receival points during harvest.

 "Grain quality is the responsibility of every industry participant and can affect harvest operations, fellow growers and most importantly WA's valuable international reputation and markets," he said.

 "It is important that we continue to work together this harvest to ensure we get the very best out of this year's crop to maximise the quality of our grain and grow value for growers by getting the grain in the bin as quickly as possible."

[Close]
21 SeptemberGrain Pool offers October cash-outs for barley

Grain Pool Pty Ltd will offer an October cash-out to growers for the 2003-04 barley pools to provide them greater cash-flow flexibility.

A cash-out of $35.22 per tonne for malting barley and $29.95 per tonne for feed barley will be offered.

Payments for October cash-outs will commence on Wednesday, 29 September with Thursday, 6 October the last day for receipt of October cash-out request forms.

Dr Andy Crane, General Manager Grain Pool said cash-outs allowed growers to benefit from the pricing advantages of the pools while maintaining the flexibility to manage their cash flow and risk later in the season.

"Despite a recent fall in world barley values, the 2003-04 barley pool has withstood well against falling world prices in July and August," he said.

"This high degree of uncertainty in world barley values over the past few months has prevented Grain Pool from previously offering cash-outs for barley during the traditional June-July period.

"Some of the decline in world values that we have seen recently has been in response to international traders selling ahead of the Black Sea crop, which proved to more difficult than expected to source.

"In addition, the strong European dollar has kept European prices relatively firm.

"Both of these factors have led buyers to source Australian old crop, which has increased the percentage of WA barley sold and allowed Grain Pool to offer this cash-out option to growers.

"If growers choose a cash-out, they will forfeit any further advances and the benefits from any potential improvements in pool returns but likewise protect themselves from any potential falls in pool equity value.

"This is the first time we have offered cash-outs for October and it clearly demonstrates that pools remain an innovative and flexible cash management tool for growers and have the ability to reflect their ever changing needs."

Barley 2003-04 pool cash-outs

Malting Feed

Total Harvest Advance paid

$137.50 $122.50
Post Harvest Advance Paid $16.00 $16.00
Cash-out Offer $35.22 $29.95
Total $187.72 $168.45
Current equity indicator $190-205 $165-180

 

[Close]
13 SeptemberCBH ups the ante on sampling this harvest

A review of the CBH sample acquisition and assessment procedures has been completed and changes will be implemented during this harvest to improve the consistency of sampling across CBH receival points for growers and customers.

 Changes resulting from the review include trials to identify the most accurate equipment for obtaining a representative sample from grower loads and the future replacement of all manual spears with improved automated spears.

 David Fienberg, Manager Grain Technology said the trials of different equipment and processes would be complete before this coming harvest with findings and subsequent changes to sampling procedures implemented during the next few years.

 "Farming is a demanding business and we want to do our best to assist in keeping market opportunities open to growers by providing a fair and equitable assessment of their grain," Mr Fienberg said.

 "Sampling of grain on receival is of great importance to the industry as it provides an essential link in the tracking of quality through the supply chain.

 "In addition our processes provide valuable information on grain quality which is used to determine grower payments, CBH storage allocation and provides information to grain acquirers and marketers. Therefore it is essential that the systems we have in place are world class, fair and robust and support the requirements of the industry.

 "Our staff are excited about the review and looking forward to receiving enhanced training and improved visual assessment aids to assist them in ensuring greater consistency in analysis across all receival points this harvest."

 Mr Fienberg said that as an outcome of the review, growers will also have the opportunity to provide feedback on how well the CBH Group is meeting their needs during harvest.

 "Feedback slips will be provided at each receival point and we invite growers to comment on any aspect of the business they think we can improve," he said.

"CBH is dedicated to the continuous review and improvement of its sampling procedures to increase consistency and objectivity between sites, staff performance and samples and ensure growers are getting optimum service when they deliver to CBH receival points.

 "With grain quality being such an important factor in the current grain industry it is our responsibility to ensure we have effective systems in place to determine the quality of grain coming into the system so that Western Australian grain continues to maintain its high standard in this area.

 "Grain quality is the responsibility of the entire industry and CBH is committed to working together with growers to ensure the industry is sustainable for future generations."

[Close]
02 SeptemberCBH and Elders combined expertise benefits SA growers

The CBH Group and leading agribusiness Elders, are working together in South Australia to generate more marketing options for South Australian wheat growers.

The wheat accumulation products will offer SA wheat farmers the benefit of Elders local service and security of payment combined with the marketing expertise of CBH, who have until now primarily focused their operations in WA.

General Manager AgraCorp, Andrew Young said the CBH Group had a proven track record in grain marketing having last year successfully marketed 4.2 million tonnes of grain domestically and internationally.

"The CBH Group has a highly credible reputation in domestic and international markets and we are keen to provide South Australian growers with access to our expertise through a range of marketing alternatives," Mr Young said.

"WA growers have already benefited from greater choice in the past few seasons for wheat and other grains and we are delighted to work with Elders to be able to offer some of these products in South Australia."

Elders National Grain Marketing Manager Mark Thiele said CBH is a sound choice for the program due to its outstanding track record in the grains industry and its successful handling of a record 14.7 million tonne crop delivered to its network last season.

"Through our partnership with CBH we will capitalise on the capabilities and expertise of both companies to provide South Australian growers with greater choice," Mr Thiele said.

"Growers will benefit from the efficiency of the Elders network in delivering local services combined with the strength of our national brand."

Mr Thiele said that introducing greater choice in the South Australian market is now even more crucial as industry rationalisation continues to polarise the major players and reduce the available client options.

"The partnership allows SA growers to benefit from competitive and easy-to-use marketing products," Mr Thiele said.

"Together we are introducing a specific wheat accumulation program with prices to be offered at nominated SA ports. Initially growers will have access to forward price contracts via the Elders network and cash bids at silo during harvest."

[Close]
01 SeptemberNew CBH LoadNet goes live for harvest

LoadNet, the CBH Group's secure online service that allows registered growers to track deliveries, payments and transfer grain efficiently, went live earlier today.

 The upgraded LoadNet combines CBH and Grain Pool internet services to provide growers one port of call for online transactions with the CBH Group. The service has been improved to give growers increased functionality including the ability to transfer suspense and warehoused loads online and download Grain Pool and AgraCorp Recipient Created Tax Invoices (RCTIs).

 Grower Services Manager, Darryl Copestake said LoadNet was re-vamped by the CBH Group after a series of focus groups with growers to discover what they required from an internet services system.

 "From grower's feedback, we created a new domain for LoadNet with its own address,

 "It has been designed with a "no-frills" presentation, with no pictures or logos slowing download speeds to save growers valuable time during harvest.

 "Growers who previously utilised the existing LoadNet will be pleasantly surprised at how much faster and easier to use the new LoadNet service is.

 "This harvest, LoadNet will be an indispensable tool for growers to keep track of grain deliveries, and payments and transfer grain online, twenty-four hours a day.

 "The capacity to monitor deliveries around-the-clock, especially when using contract carters, provides the ability to identify quality issues between loads and adjust their harvesting programs accordingly.

 "In addition, the detail available through LoadNet allows for the fast identification of incorrect load information which will assist in avoiding payment delays.

 "LoadNet is another way the CBH Group is helping growers grow value this harvest."

 Growers can register for LoadNet online at

www.loadnet.com.au, so growers can access the site directly," Mr Copestake said. www.loadnet.com.au or by contacting Grower Services on 1800 199 083 or their local CBH Group District Office.

[Close]

August

27 AugustGrain Pool delivers $40 million to WA grain growers

Grain Pool is distributing a total of $40 million dollars to growers participating in the 2003-04 barley, canola and lupin pools through its second advance payments scheduled for early September.

Grain Pool increased the returns for feed and malting barley to $7 per tonne from the previous estimate of $5 per tonne with canola top-ups increasing to $34 per tonne, up from the previous prediction of $27 per tonne. Lupins remained stable with a return to pool participants of $9 per tonne.

Dr Crane said current 2003-04 equities continue to be well supported, with lupins priced between $220-$230 per tonne, canola valued between $415-$430 per tonne, malting barley ranging between $190-$205 per tonne and feed barley priced between $160-$175 per tonne.

"Recent good sales have enabled Grain Pool to increase the September advance payments to growers in the canola and barley pools," Dr Crane said.

"Consistently strong sales throughout the year, coupled with a record shipping program which has seen more than one million tonnes of grain exported from WA per month, have contributed to a highly successful sales program this year."

Dr Crane said Grain Pool's access to premium markets and ability to negotiate good prices to return value back to growers, had resulted in a return of $40 million dollars through the September advance payments.

"This figure clearly demonstrates the ability of pools to provide real value back to the growers of this state and is an important indication that pools remain a competitive marketing alternative," Dr Crane said.

"One of the major benefits of the pooling system is its ability to create economies of scale and stabilisation of prices for growers when marketing large quantities of grain over an entire year.

"I would urge growers to continue to consider the pools as part of their marketing strategy during the coming 2004-05 harvest."

Harvest Advance

March 2004 actual top-up payments

September 2004 estimated top-up payments

Current total pool indicator

Barley $ $ $ $
Malting 137.50 9.00 5.00 190-205
Feed 122.50 9.00 5.00 160-175
Lupins 142.50 17.50 9.00 220-230
Canola 320.00 27.50 27.00 415-430
[Close]
10 AugustGrain Pool urges Minister to address industry concerns over GLA licences

Grain Pool urges WA Minister for Agriculture, Kim Chance, to address industry concerns over the impact of GLA licensing decisions threatening the existence of the WA single desk for barley, canola and lupins following yesterday's decision by the Grain Licensing Authority (GLA) to issue licences for the 2004-05 crop.

The GLA yesterday passed down its decision to grant licences for the export of 180,000 tonnes of feed barley throughout the 2004-05 season.

Grain Pool General Manager, Dr Andy Crane said the first year of GLA operations presented significant challenges, particularly in the way that the legislation was interpreted in granting licences.

"Grain Pool supports the concept of orderly marketing under a GLA model so long as there is no threat to premium markets or the value that is created from these markets for growers," Dr Crane said.

"It has become clear that the licences granted during the past 12 months did not create any new markets. Rather, some of the licences granted are threatening the prices Grain Pool is achieving in existing premium markets.

"The volume of licences issued by the GLA, in only its first consideration of the 2004-05 season, represents close to 10 per cent of the predicted exportable barley crop. This is a significant proportion, particularly when you consider that our initial estimate for the season has recently been downgraded and there are still areas in the grainbelt crying out for rain.

"We are disappointed by the GLA's decision to grant these licences for the 2004-05 crop as it is a clear indication that they have ignored industry concerns and are unwilling to re-examine a system that is robbing growers of value achieved from the long-term relationships with premium markets, established by Grain Pool.

"Paradoxically allowing other organisations to compete in these markets does not increase returns for growers. It drives our prices down as buyers are able to negotiate between two or more sellers of the same grain.

"Essentially, the GLA licensing decisions announced yesterday will create a situation where WA grain is competing with WA grain, as we have seen over the past 12 months. This is not a beneficial situation for anyone, least of all WA grain growers."

Dr Crane did express his support however of the GLA's decision not to grant licences for canola into the sub-continent.

"Grain Pool has developed a successful track record of supplying canola to key customers in this region. The sub-continent is an important market as it pays bonification for oil, which has been crucial to the exceptional performance of the canola pool this year. Any decision by the GLA to grant licences to this region would have seen the value generated by Grain Pool being eroded," he said.

"The GLA has held over its decision to grant licences for malting barley into China pending further deliberations. We have made it very clear to the GLA that these markets are central to Grain Pool's ability to capture and maintain value for Western Australian growers and will work extremely hard to ensure that this premium market is not compromised in any way.

Dr Crane said that one of the major benefits of the pooling system is its ability to create economies of scale and stabilisation of prices for growers when marketing large quantities of grain over an entire year.

"Grain Pool has a wealth of knowledge and expertise and has been able to develop strong relationships with international customers to secure premium markets that provide greater value to WA grain growers in the long term," Dr Crane said.

"In addition, Grain Pool manages the interests of all WA grain growers through allowing equal access to the pools, professional marketers and research and development aimed at improving crops and future marketing prospects for WA growers. The combined value to growers of these initiatives has not been taken into consideration when evaluating the impact of licences granted by the GLA.

"In moving forward we would like to see a more responsible decision making process undertaken by the GLA focusing on establishing new markets and protecting the value generated from existing premium markets.

"If the Minister has the growers' interests at heart, I would ask him to strongly consider addressing the concerns that have been raised by the industry as the GLA commences its second year of operation.

"Ignoring these concerns could have a dramatic impact of the effective operation of pools and single desk and the significant value pools are able to deliver to the grain growers of this state."

 

[Close]
05 AugustGrain Pool announces September advance payments

Grain Pool announced its anticipated 2003-04 second advance payments for growers participating in the 2003-04 barley, canola and lupin pools.

The indicative values of $5 per tonne for feed and malting barley, $9 per tonne for lupins and $27 per tonne for canola will be finalised in coming weeks and distributed to participating growers during early September 2004.

Grain Pool General Manager, Dr Andy Crane said current 2003-04 equities are currently well supported with lupins priced between $220 - $230 per tonne, canola valued between $415 - $430 per tonne, malting barley ranging from $190 - $205 per tonne and feed barley priced between $160 - $175 per tonne.

"Grain Pool has had great success with canola sales this year. The vast majority of stock in the canola pool has now been contracted," Dr Crane said.

"The 2003-04 lupin pool is also well sold however the relatively small proportion of unsold stock has still been impacted by the recent steep decline in values for protein crops.

"A record pace of shipments will continue during the lead up to the new crop harvest to conclude these sales.

"The predicted values for barley are also well supported despite a record crop for Australia last season and recent significant falls in world wide feed market values."

Dr Crane said that pools remained a very credible way of marketing grain in an export dependent state.

"The whole crop can not possibly be sold for cash and immediate shipment at harvest. Grain Pool pools have historically performed very well and this year is no exception.

"The collection of grain for controlled marketing in the international market is still an excellent way of dissipating pressure on prices and giving grain growers a strong position in the market as a single seller."

Gross pool indicators 2003-04

Harvest Advance

March 2004 actual top-up payments

September 2004 estimated top-up payments

Current total pool indicator

Barley $ $ $ $
Malting 137.50 9.00 5.00 190-205
Feed 122.50 9.00 5.00 160-175
Lupins 142.50 17.50 9.00 220-230
Canola 320.00 27.50 27.00 415-430

 



 

[Close]
04 AugustCBH sets sail for another shipping record

While CBH has revised its receival estimates for this season to less than 12 million tonnes on the back of below average winter rains, the company is on target to break its 12 month shipping record of 11.2 million tonnes set during the bumper 1999-2000 harvest.

 In total CBH has shipped approximately 9.7 million tonnes of grain from its four port terminals in Kwinana, Albany, Esperance and Geraldton since 1 November 2003 and anticipates around 14 million tonnes of grain will be exported by the commencement of this season's harvest in October.

 Last season's record harvest has contributed to a number of shipping records throughout the year including the largest cargo exported from Geraldton port when the "Dignity T" sailed for Iraq with 55,000 tonnes of wheat on 5 July and a record monthly shipment across all terminals of 1.33 million tonnes achieved in January 2004.

 Colin Tutt, CBH General Manager Operations said the co-operation between CBH operational staff, marketers, transporters and local shires to achieve the intensive shipping program has consistently seen more than one million tonnes of grain exported from the state per month since 1 November 2003.

 "This is an amazing achievement. We have been operating at an extremely high capacity, organising logistics and loading grain day and night, ever since growers put their harvesters in the shed at the end of last season's harvest," Mr Tutt said.

 "During the past nine months our staff, marketers and road and rail transporters have all worked tirelessly to help get the grain to the ports and onto the ships. We have also had great support from the local shires that have shown immense understanding of the massive task we are performing.

 "We have flexibly organised both road and rail resources to optimise our logistics and shipping operations. Additional trains were hired this year and have been fully utilised around the clock. At the moment we are using nine narrow gauge trains and three standard gauge trains that are hauling approximately 200,000 tonnes per week into our four ports, which is quite a remarkable effort."

 Mr Tutt said that despite still continuing strong activity in ship loading and transporting grain to port CBH was in full preparation for the coming harvest and positioning the anticipated two million tonnes of carryover stock to receive this harvest efficiently and effectively.

 "We are well advanced into our harvest planning and have a good understanding of how we can deliver the best possible service to growers and customers. I am confident that by continuing to work together we will be able to meet this challenge."

[Close]
03 AugustWinners show spirit of life on the land

Co-operative Bulk Handling's 2004 Photographic Competition attracted a record number of 155 entries, all highlighting this year's theme of This Rural Life.

The theme of This Rural Life celebrates life in Western Australia's grain belt through the challenges and triumphs of living on the land, the changing faces of the land, CBH and the grains industry and the spirit of community and partnership in working together for the future.

The winners were selected from the categories of CBH shareholders, children, CBH staff members and rural community residents.  In addition, one overall winner was selected.

Winning and highly commended entries will be exhibited at the CBH Group tent at this year's Dowerin, Newdegate and Mingenew Field Days. The latest in grain technology and quality assurance programs, on-line services and marketing alternatives will also be on display and growers will have the opportunity to win a computer just by visiting the CBH Group Field Day tent.

The major prize-winners of the 2004 CBH Photographic Competition are listed below.
Name From Category District
Wayne Owen Morawa - Overall Winner Morawa
Carroll Kowald Morawa - Shareholder Morawa
Maria Gioffri Toodyay - Shareholder Avon
Rachel Pearse Wubin - Shareholder Wongan Hills
Roma Parker Mingenew - Shareholder Morawa
Darryl Collett Gooseberry Hill - Shareholder Merredin
Jan Hope Katanning - Shareholder Katanning
Beth Field Yerecoin - Shareholder Wongan Hills
John van der Westhuyzen Merredin - Shareholder Merredin
Margaret McGinniss Merredin - Shareholder Merredin
Lyndon Henning Koorda - Shareholder Koorda
Mike Wegulin Corrigin - Staff Corrigin
Jamie Pages Merredin - Staff Merredin
Malcolm Keillor Corrigin - Staff Corrigin
David Crook Perth - Staff Kwinana
Rebecca Pages Merredin - Rural Community Merredin
Sharon Guardia Cape Burney - Rural Community Geraldton
Jenny Hardy Corrigin - Rural Community Corrigin
Shaina Kelly Mingenew - Children Morawa
Riley Maddock Mukinbudin - Children Merredin

The competition was proudly supported by Countryman Newspaper and prizes have been kindly donated by the following sponsors.
Batteries Plus, Gerard Daniels, Australia Stratco Products, Bay of Isles Motel, Esperance Industrial Protective Products, Tradewinds Hotel, Blackadder Scaffolding Service, King Gee Industrial Wear, Universal Tyres,
Broadwater Hospitality, Onesteel Steel & Tube, WA Country Football League, Budget Rent a Car, Photoland, WA Cricket Association, Bunzls Ltd, Proton Promotional, WA Hockey Association, CJD Equipment, Sanax Medical, WA Netball Ltd,
Construction Equipment Australia, Sandvik Materials Handling, West Coast Fasteners, Eversafe Fire Protection, Skipper Trucks, WJ Moncrieff Pty Ltd

Winning entries will be displayed at this year's Dowerin, Newdegate and Mingenew Field Days, Perth Royal Show, in CBH publications and will feature in the 2005 CBH calendar.

[Close]
03 AugustQA workshops give growers a hand on-farm

More than 70 growers attended CBH's first Better Farm IQ training and facilitation workshops held in Yuna and Mullewa, conducted during July.

CBH Better Farm IQ is an on-farm quality assurance program that provides an easy to understand, streamlined framework to help growers better manage their on-farm food safety risks. It is an integrated quality assurance system that can be applied to mixed farming businesses.

Brady Green runs a mixed farming enterprise in Chapman Valley and attended the workshop in Yuna to gain a greater understanding of Better Farm IQ. His aim was to decide whether the program would be applicable to his farming practices.

"Better Farm IQ is a simple system to use and will easily fit in with my current farming practices. It should eliminate potential errors arising from inaccurate recording, reduce the possibility of contamination and make traceability easier," Mr Green said.

"With a shift in focus by markets towards increased traceability, growers need to take responsibility for quality practices that are carried out on-farm. We need to take action now to ensure that we maintain our reputation as reliable suppliers of exceptional quality grain."

David Fienberg, CBH Manager Grain Technology said the course was about documenting the story of how growers currently manage their farm business and marrying this with the Better Farm IQ quality practices.

"Growers found the program refreshingly simple.  It is not about necessitating dramatic changes to their current practices but improving the way their quality practices are documented," Mr Fienberg said.

"The international market is increasingly discerning and the ability to manage quality throughout the supply chain is paramount.

"It is important that WA growers deliver quality grain and that the quality is maintained through the supply chain so that we can continue to benefit from our reputation as a reliable supplier of "clean and green" grain. This will ensure customers get the quality of grain they want and growers can secure the highest possible returns."

The program is fully HACCP compliant and incorporates SQF 1000, an internationally recognised quality assurance code acknowledged by the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Comprehensive Better Farm IQ training and facilitation workshops will be conducted by CBH in the coming months at the following locations.

August 3 Tuesday - Lake Varley Varley Community Hall
August 4 Wednesday - Gnowangerup Gnowangerup Sporting Complex
August 10 Tuesday - Narrogin Narrogin Reception Centre
August 11 Wednesday - Kojonup RSL Hall
August 31 Tuesday - Mingenew Mingenew Recreation Centre
September 1 Wednesday - Dalwallinu Oval Room, Dalwallinu Recreation Centre
September 14 Tuesday - Salmon Gums Salmon Gums Town Hall
September 15 Wednesday - Cascades Cascades Sports Hall
September 16 Thursday - Esperance Esperance Civic Centre
September 21 Tuesday - Northam Bert Hawk Pavilion
September 22 Wednesday - Corrigin Cyril Box Pavilion

For further information on Better Farm IQ or to register for a training and facilitation workshop, contact Nicole Kerr, Better Farm IQ Implementation Manager on 9454 0359.

[Close]

July

12 JulyCBH’s $100 million dollar Albany investment creates value for growers

The CBH Board has approved a $100 million dollar proposal for the upgrade to the Albany port terminal.

 The upgrade will see improved operating efficiencies, greater storage capacity with less reliance on shipping to maintain operations during the harvest period and a safer working environment.

 CBH has appointed Leighton Contractors to undertake construction of the upgrade to the Albany port terminal, which is scheduled to commence July of this year.

 The construction of ten 6,000 tonne storage cells will be a major component of the upgrade and will provide CBH the ability to maximize its shipping rate through better cargo accumulation, while having little impact on the loss of visibility for surrounding residents.

 Truck inloading rates will increase from 400 tonnes per hour to 750 tonnes per hour under the new proposal and will greatly improve the capacity to receive grain at the terminal.

 The weighbridge and sampling complex will also be enhanced to improve efficiency of grower deliveries, and an upgrade of the existing rail infrastructure will result in increased inloading capacities at the site without escalating rail noise emanating from the terminal.

 CBH Chairman, Robert Sewell, said CBH has worked closely with the Albany Port Authority, government and local residents in developing the construction proposal to enable increased efficiencies at the port while taking into consideration the impact on surrounding residents.

 "Since the upgrade was first considered, we have consulted with local Albany residents and listened to their concerns. As well as creating greater efficiencies to CBH operations in the Albany port and increasing value for WA grain growers, we wanted to ensure the final proposal took into consideration the needs of the local community.

 "The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Alannah MacTiernan, has indicated the state government's support for the upgrade and assurance has been given that a proposed marina development in Albany will not impinge on the development of future port operations or access to the port," he said.

 Mr Sewell said the upgrade will enable CBH to focus on its core business of storage and handling of grain which will reduce costs and create greater value for growers and other customers.

 "This multi-million dollar investment in the Albany port terminal clearly demonstrates CBH's commitment to the long term sustainability and growth of the port, community and grain growing in the region and will establish a state of the art world-class facility to strengthen the future of the grain industry in the area," Mr Sewell said.

[Close]

June

25 JuneBulkwest Logistics expands operations at Albany Port

Bulkwest Logistics Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of CBH Limited, this week commenced an initiative which will give businesses operating at the Port of Albany access to more highly skilled stevedoring employees.

 Up to forty permanent and casual Bulkwest Logistics employees will be contracted to port businesses under the scheme to provide expertise in the fields of stevedoring, mooring and unmooring, pilotage services and infrastructure maintenance.

 Tim Collins, General Manager Bulkwest Logistics, said the new program, which will be managed by Trevor Dack, Bulkwest Logistics Manager - Albany, offers substantial benefit to businesses currently operating at the port and will complement existing CBH operations in Albany.

 "The program offers those businesses operating in the Albany Port the provision of immediate access to a diverse range of skills and expertise," Mr Collins said.

 "In addition to our general transport and warehousing operations in Perth, we also operate a similar system in the Port of

Geraldton with ten of our staff contracted to manage the bulk handling facility on behalf of the Geraldton Port Authority. This arrangement has proved to be very successful.

 "Our staff's expertise was pivotal in assisting with the recent introduction of iron-ore operations to Geraldton Port's berth four.

 "In addition, having greater involvement in port operations in Albany will give CBH the potential to increase its operational efficiencies, returning greater value to grower shareholders."

 Mr Collins said the new program aligns with CBH's expansion of grain operations at the Port of Albany and its confidence in the long term future of the port facility.

 "CBH has been involved in the city of Albany since the establishment of the Albany Port terminal in 1956. During the past 50 years we have seen the community and the business of grain production grow and change significantly. In line with this, CBH is planning a multi-million dollar upgrade to the grain terminal at Albany Port, expected to commence in the next few months.

 "This new program is further demonstration of the CBH's commitment to the growth and sustainability for the port and the community of Albany."

[Close]
22 JuneCBH prepares for a 12 million tonne harvest

Co-operative Bulk Handling has commenced the planning process to receive a 12 million tonne harvest with growers across most districts now having received adequate rains to complete their seeding programs.

Growing conditions north of the Avon to Merredin rail line are excellent with high expectations of record deliveries, pending good finishing rains. The season in the southern areas of the state is three weeks behind last year with some growers yet to complete their seeding programs.

General Manger Operations Colin Tutt said that while the outlook was positive for the season it was too early to accurately estimate total grain receivals as rainfall during the next four months would have a significant impact on the final tonnage.

"CBH Grower Services is issuing a crop estimate form during July to all growers which will more accurately determine the size of the crop. The data collected on the estimate forms allows CBH to develop strategies to receive the coming harvest efficiently and ensure we are providing relevant services to growers. It is therefore imperative that growers return their crop estimate forms swiftly when they receive them," Mr Tutt said.

Mr Tutt said CBH operations staff were working tirelessly in conjunction with marketers to outturn grain to satisfy a shipping program that is currently seeing one million tonnes of all grains loaded each month for export.

"The one million tonnes per month record has been maintained since last November. Since November 2003 CBH staff have loaded approximately eight million tonnes of grain from CBH's four port terminals in Kwinana, Albany, Esperance and Geraldton," Mr Tutt said.

"The logistics achievement of shipping a million tonnes a month is an outstanding effort by all concerned. Shipping schedules continue to be heavy for June and initial plans for July indicate another record shipping month.

"Assuming the continuation of current shipping rates, we anticipate a carryover of between 2.5 and 3.5 million tonnes coming into harvest 2004-05.

"This level of carryover is becoming the norm and with additional storage built last year to manage the record harvest, we are in a strong position to ensure that carryover grain is positioned strategically in order to receive new harvest grain efficiently.

"As the season develops, planning for the upcoming harvest is revised weekly, to ensure the optimal utilisation of storage and handling infrastructure and road and rail resources.

"Another priority is to secure suitable casual staff to manage grain at receival points during the harvest period and we will commence recruiting casuals during the last week of June."

Mr Tutt said the primary site concept would continue to function this season, with primary sites to operate longer hours and receive a greater number of segregations.

"This strategy makes the most effective use of resources while providing good service levels to local growers," Mr Tutt said."With the sizeable carryover position and the potential realisation of another good harvest, CBH and grain growers will need to work closely together.

"Last harvest we saw fantastic co-operation between CBH and growers at a site level. This season it will again necessitate the "Help us help you" strategies to get the grain in the bin as quickly as possible.

"Capital works are currently underway at Cascades, Hyden, Kojonup, Lake King, Perenjori, York, Watheroo and Wickepin receival facilities which will see the capabilities of these sites improved for growers delivering to these points this harvest."

Mr Tutt said that Grain Direct, the joint venture between CBH and AWB, was awaiting ACCC approval however the objective was to start up on 1 October 2004.

"Plans are progressing for the implementation of Grain Direct, which will see closer co-operation to improve the efficiency of grain flow in the supply chain. The principle aim is to ensure transparency of supply chain operations," Mr Tutt said.

[Close]
16 JuneQueen’s list honours CBH Chairman

CBH Chairman, Robert Sewell was awarded the honour of Member in the Order of Australia (AM) from this year's Queen's Birthday honours list announced this week, for his exceptional contribution to the Australian grains industry.

 Mr Sewell has made major contributions to the Australian grain industry via his participation in a range of industry organisations, notably the Grain Pool, and through his role in promoting Western Australian grain internationally.

 A grain producer from Wongan Hills in Western Australia's central wheatbelt, Robert was elected to the Grain Pool of WA Board in 1978 and was its Chairman from 1992 until the merger with CBH in 2002. He then became Deputy Chairman of CBH and was subsequently elected CBH Chairman by the Board in April 2004, succeeding retiring Chairman Allan Watson.

 "To receive an accolade on the Queen's Birthday honours role for my endeavors in the industry I am so passionate about is a great privilege," Mr Sewell said.

 "I have been dedicated to the Western Australian grain industry for many years and I thank my family for the support they have given me during this time.

 "I will continue to actively contribute to the industry as I believe wholeheartedly in it, and in its bright future.

 "My association with the grain industry to date has been extremely rewarding and I hope that it will continue for some time yet."

 CBH Chief Executive Officer, Imre Mencshelyi, said that Mr Sewell's leadership had greatly advanced the standing of the Australian grain industry, particularly in the international arena.

 "Over a number of years Robert has built the respect of WA grain growers and international customers alike. He has been a fantastic ambassador for the Western Australian grain industry, working tirelessly to develop and promote the export of Australian grain," Mr Mencshelyi said.

 "With significant changes facing the grain industry moving forward, I am confident that Robert will continue to map the course of the CBH Group to secure the future of the grain industry on behalf of all Western Australian grain growers."

 The Australian honours system celebrates the outstanding achievements and contributions of extraordinary Australians in a diverse range of fields and areas of endeavour.

[Close]
11 JuneGrain Pool offers flexibility with 2004 cash-outs

Grain Pool Pty Ltd will offer June and July cash payments to growers for the 2003-04 canola and lupin pools to provide them greater cash-flow flexibility.

 A pre 1 July cash-out of $64.35 per tonne for canola, and $65.23 per tonne for lupins will be offered. Alternatively growers can opt for the post July cash-out of $64.46 per tonne for canola, and $65.33 per tonne for lupins.

Growers can defer income to the new financial year by taking up a post June 30 cash-out offer.

Payments for June cash-outs will commence on Monday, 14 June with Thursday, 24 June the last day for receipt of June cash-out request forms.  The last day for receipt of July cash-out request forms is Thursday, 8 July.

Grain Pool General Manager Dr Andy Crane said he was pleased to offer growers the benefit of an early cash flow.

"Cash-outs are an additional benefit of pool marketing which provide growers immediate payment hence greater economic certainty, allowing them to better manage their cash flow and risk," Dr Crane said.

"If growers choose a cash-out, they will forfeit any further advances and the benefits from any potential improvements in pool returns but likewise protect themselves from any potential falls in pool equity value.

"Grain Pool has calculated cash-out sums based on the percentage of grain already sold and the predicted market development during the remaining life of the pools.

"At this stage we are unable to offer cash-outs for either malting or feed barley due to the uncertainty of the barley market."

Canola and lupin 2003-04 pool cash-outs

Pre 1 July 2004 cash-out

Post 30 June 2004 cash-out

Canola

(basis 42% oil, 0% admixture)

Total Harvest Advance paid

$320.00 $320.00

Post Harvest Advance paid

$27.50 $27.50

Cash-out offer

$64.35 $64.46
Total $411.85 $411.96

Current equity indicator range $415-$430

 

Pre 1 July 2004 cash-out

Post 30 June 2004 cash-out

Lupins

Total Harvest Advance paid

$142.50

$142.50

Post Harvest Advance paid

$12.50 $12.50

Cash-out offer

$65.23

$65.33

Total

$220.23

$220.23

Current equity indicator range $225-$235

 

 


 

[Close]

May

31 MayProfessionals deliver wheat pool success

AgraCorp announced today that its initial Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool is being closed to protect the current equity of pool participants.

The Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool is a joint initiative between Grain Pool subsidiary company AgraCorp and commodity management company, Plum Grove Pty Ltd. It was established in April this year to provide growers a transparent and cost-effective wheat marketing alternative.

General Manager AgraCorp Andrew Young said the pool had been well received by growers.

"We have already reached the tonnage target that was set for this first pool, which is a measure of the pool's popularity. The decision to close the Professional Pool was made to protect existing gains made on behalf of growers from any dilution effect," Mr Young said.

"The volatile wheat values seen during the past month have enabled the Professional Pool team to capitalise on opportunities presented by the market. The current price indicator for the Professional Pool of $231 per tonne for APW grade compares favourably to AWB's price indicator of $220 per tonne for the same grade.

Mr Young said the Professional Pool's qualified managers determined the best time to lock in foreign exchange, futures, basis and other elements of wheat pricing on behalf of participants.

"The pool will continue to be professionally managed over its life span of approximately 18 months to take advantage of further marketing opportunities that may arise and improve on what is a good start," Mr Young said.

"Grower returns are benchmarked against AWB National Pool values, with any premiums gained, less an administration fee, returned to participating growers.

"The successful operation of the pool to date, has given us the impetus to activate a second Professional Choice Managed Wheat Pool - The Seeding Pool, so other growers can take advantage of what is an innovative and easy to understand pool marketing product."

The Seeding Pool should be available next week. Further enquiries can be directed to Grower Services on 1800 679 510.

[Close]
28 MayFederal Court delivers judgment in favour of Grain Pool

On Friday, 21 May, the Federal Court delivered judgment in the Franklin barley litigation brought against the Grain Pool by Cultivaust Pty Ltd and the Tasmanian government, in favour of Grain Pool.

Justice Mansfield, delivering judgment in Adelaide, found the claims could not be sustained.

The Federal Court proceedings were initiated in December 1999 by the South Australian based company Cultivaust and by the Tasmanian government. The trial was heard in April and May 2002. Grain Pool's position at trial was supported by the Solicitors-General for Western Australia and South Australia.

CBH Group Chairman Robert Sewell welcomed the Federal Court's decision.

"Grain Pool has rejected these claims since they were first raised in 1996. Grain Pool has always believed it acted fairly and properly in its dealings with Cultivaust and the Tasmanian government. The Federal Court's decision has now vindicated the position taken by the Grain Pool," Mr Sewell said.

Mr Sewell also noted that the Federal Court's decision would not have any real effect on the way in which Grain Pool, or CBH, dealt with the owners of PBRs in the future.

"Grain Pool and CBH have always supported, and continue to support, the PBR system. At present, Grain Pool pays PBR royalties to a number of grantees, on behalf of growers. Grain Pool recognises that this commitment to the PBR system is important because it encourages the development of new and better grain varieties, suitable for Western Australian conditions," Mr Sewell said.

Further, Mr Sewell commented that the interpretation of the PBR Act advanced by Grain Pool in the Federal Court proceedings had now largely been overtaken by the amendments to the PBR Act which came into effect in December 2002.

"The 2002 amendments to the PBR legislation have now established a regime that requires 'equitable remuneration' to be paid to grantees by bodies such as statutory marketing authorities. Grain Pool was involved in the development and drafting of those amendments and is committed to the new regime. The Federal Court only considered the old PBR legislation. Under the old regime, there was no general obligation on Grain Pool (or other statutory marketing authorities) to pay royalties to PBR owners or licencees."

Grain Pool intends to seek orders from the Court for the recovery of its legal costs associated with defending the Federal Court proceedings.

A full copy of Justice Mansfield's reasons for decision can be found at the website of the Federal Court of Australia(www.fedcourt.gov.au)

Background to the Franklin barley litigation

The Federal Court proceedings arose out of Cultivaust's failed attempt in 1992/93 to market Franklin barley in Western Australia. Cultivaust had been appointed in 1992 by the Tasmanian government (the owner of plant breeder's rights in Franklin barley) to commercialise Franklin barley in mainland Australia. The plant breeder's rights in Franklin barley (known as PBRs) were granted to the Tasmanian government under the Commonwealth Plant Breeder's Rights Act 1994 (which was formerly known as the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987). Due to its unsuitability for Western Australian conditions, Franklin barley has not been grown in significant quantities in Western Australia since the 1998/1999 season, and there has not been any significant ongoing demand for the barley since that time.

Prior to 2002, when Grain Pool was the statutory marketing authority for barley in Western Australia, it received Franklin barley from Western Australian grain growers through its statutory pooling process between 1992/93 and 2000/01. That barley was sold by Grain Pool to maltsters and brewers (including Joe White Maltings, the Japanese brewer Kirin, and South Africa Breweries) both domestically and internationally, primarily for use in the production of beer. Franklin barley was also sold by Grain Pool as animal feed, both domestically and internationally. The returns from these sales were passed on to Western Australian grain growers.

Cultivaust and the Tasmanian government asserted that Grain Pool had infringed Tasmania's PBRs in Franklin barley. Grain Pool successfully defended those claims, as well as the additional claims arising out of the failed negotiations between the parties in 1992 and 1993. Cultivaust and the Tasmanian government unsuccessfully claimed that Grain Pool entered into and breached an informal agreement with them, that an estoppel arose against Grain Pool, that Grain Pool owed a fiduciary duty to Cultivaust and the Tasmanian government and breached that duty, and finally that Grain Pool engaged in tortious conduct by interfering with Cultivaust's business interests.

[Close]
24 MayGrain Pool sets 2004-05 receival standards

To maintain Western Australia's reputation for supplying high quality grain to domestic and overseas customers, Grain Pool has revised several receival standards for grain deliveries during the 2004-05 harvest.

Grain Pool General Manager Dr Andy Crane said that Grain Pool and AgraCorp marketers set receival standards each year for barley, lupins, canola and oats in the interest of the Western Australian grains industry.

"Receival standards are vital to ensure that Grain Pool and AgraCorp customers are receiving safe grain and the right quality of grain required for their end uses. It is one measure we use to safeguard the industry.

"Western Australian grain is viewed internationally as clean and safe, and we need to guard this enviable reputation, ensuring WA grain continues to be sought by premium markets."

Dr Crane said that feed barley, canola and lupin standards remain unchanged from the 2003-04 season.

"Due to the popularity of Gairdner in export markets, and the level of protein demanded by malting barley customers, Grain Pool has raised the minimum protein standard for malting barley from 8.5 per cent to nine per cent. This is consistent with the limit in other states.

"Spotted mould and germ-end staining in malting grade have separate limits to enable clear assessment by CBH samplers. Although the spotted mould limit remains at five per cent, any barley sample showing more 15 per cent germ-end staining will be classified as feed grade.

"Unicorn barley receival standards have been aligned with other typical malting varieties for 2004-05 deliveries," Dr Crane said.

"Western Australian oats have a reputation for quality in domestic and overseas markets, and small amendments to oat standards have been implemented to protect this advantage.

"Generally, the allowable limit for foreign seeds in both oats and malting barley has also been tightened slightly."

Further details of these amendments will be forwarded to growers by the CBH Group in the harvest handbook prior to harvest. For any further information, contact Grower Services on 1800 199 083.

[Close]
24 MayCBH shoots goals for country netball

Co-operative Bulk Handling, as part of its $80,000 sports sponsorship package to benefit country sport in Western Australia in 2004, is supporting WA Netball with an $11,000 sponsorship package.

CBH's 2004 netball sponsorship program covers the four country netball regions active across the grainbelt, with a major focus on the annual regional carnivals which begin this week.

CBH Chairman Robert Sewell said he was delighted to be involved in supporting netball throughout the grainbelt.

"The CBH Regional Netball Carnivals not only provide a forum for healthy competition, but they provide participants and their families an important opportunity to interact socially," Mr Sewell said.

"It is vital that we get behind these events to demonstrate our commitment to rural communities, because the CBH Group relies on the support of these thriving rural communities.

"We are proud to recognise their valuable support through sponsorships such as country netball."

WA Netball President Gayle Watson-Galbraith said she applauded the support CBH was giving to netball.

"It's very encouraging to see businesses such as CBH who are very much tied to the land, contribute so strongly to community activities in rural areas.

"Numerous women and families get a lot out of the CBH Regional Netball Carnivals and it is great to see their efforts recognised with this support."

On Sunday, 16 May CBH Director Tony Critch, representing the Geraldton District will present a sponsorship cheque to the Midwest Gascoyne netball region's president Erica Pirrottina.

Other CBH sponsorship presentations will be conducted at the Great Southern Carnival 21 May, Midlands Carnival, 23 May and the Goldfields Carnival, 19 June.

[Close]
24 MayDehulling plant close as negotiations firm

Plans to establish a lupin dehulling plant between joint venture partners Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited and Sydney-based processing company George Weston Foods Limited have firmed, with final negotiations nearing completion.

In November 2003, CBH announced a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between itself and GWF to jointly build a lupin dehulling plant at CBH's state-of-the-art Metro Grain Centre in Forrestfield, Western Australia. The construction of the plant is scheduled to begin this August and is expected to be commissioned in early 2005.

CBH Chairman Robert Sewell said that the announcement of the CBH Group's intention to construct a lupin dehulling plant had sparked interest from national and international organisations.

"Western Australia is a significant origin of high-quality lupins. Processing this grain to augment its nutritional value will increase its appeal to domestic and international markets," Mr Sewell said.

"For example, lupin kernels as a high protein product have exciting applications in the fast-growing aquaculture market.

"CBH's investment at the processing-end of the supply chain is strategic in that we are creating new markets for Western Australian lupins and are adding value to the organisation.

"The CBH Group's partnership with GWF captures significant and natural synergies through the combined expertise of Grain Pool in lupin production, of CBH in storage and handling and of GWF in food processing.

"In addition, the location at the MGC site will enable us the ability to become a fully integrated value adding facility with a second container loading and domestic out-turn facility to be constructed in conjunction with the dehulling plant."

George Weston Foods Chief Executive, George Weston said that he believed the opportunities from synergies that would be harnessed through the CBH Group and George Weston Foods would be significant.

"Combining George Weston Foods' expertise in processing and distribution with the CBH Group's technical knowledge of lupins and capabilities in both storage, handling and marketing of grain, has the potential to add significant value to our customers," Mr Weston said.

About CBH:

The CBH Group is Australia's leading grains industry organisation, with an extensive storage, handling network in Western Australia and through its wholly-owned subsidiary Grain Pool, it markets grain to over 20 export destinations.

About GWF:

GWF is an Australasian food company that specialises in bread, processed meat and dairy, flours, animal feed and chemicals manufacturing, sales and distribution. GWF's icon brands included Don Smallgoods, Tip Top, Top Taste, Westons, Sunblest, Ryvita and newer brands such as Tip Top UP and Noble Rise.

[Close]
10 MayGrowers receive final tranche of record 2002-03 pools

Grain Pool will pay Western Australian grain growers in excess of $13.5 million when it distributes the final payments for its 2002-03 pool this week.

Remaining payments to pool participants were predicted at $9 per tonne for malting and feed barley, $22.50 per tonne for canola and $21 per tonne for lupins.

In total, 2002-03 malting barley pool participants received $308 per tonne, feed barley participants received $238 per tonne, canola participants received $510 per tonne and lupin participants received $269 per tonne (less residual handling and/or transport charges.)

General Manager Grain Pool Andy Crane said the final payments were higher than previously estimated, particularly for canola where Grain Pool had successfully captured upsides in the market.

"The strong returns received by growers demonstrated the record returns of the pools over the past 18 months, ensuring that maximum possible value was achieved from a depleted supply of grain due to drought conditions. The 2002-03 pool returns are the highest ever paid for all three grains," Dr Crane said.

"The results are an important indication to growers that pools remain a competitive marketing alternative.

"Canola is a good example of the pool's ability to capture maximum value, reflected in the final price received by growers of $510 per tonne. Canola pool marketers effectively managed currency and market positions to achieve the record returns to growers.

"Lupin pool marketers strategically took advantage of strong domestic values early on in the marketing season then shifted their focus to high valued feed rations, in traditional long term markets, to maximise grower returns.

"In barley markets, despite strong domestic demand for malting and feed barley, Grain Pool remained one of the leading suppliers to export markets. Grain Pool was active in maintaining long-term supply agreements, in particular to Japan, to maximise pool returns.

"This is evidence that growers should continue to consider the pools as part of their marketing strategy during the 2004-05 harvest."

[Close]
07 MayNew Deputy Chairman for CBH

CBH Group Director Tony Critch was elected to the position of Deputy Chairman during this week's CBH Group board meeting. The position of Deputy Chairman became vacant following former Deputy Robert Sewell's appointment as CBH Group Chairman at the CBH Annual General Meeting on 7 April.

Mr Critch has served on the CBH Board since 1990 and was Deputy Chairman from 1999 until the merger of CBH and Grain Pool took effect in November 2002. Robert Sewell took up the role of Deputy Chairman as part of the merger integration process.

Mr Critch, a farmer from Tenindewa near Mullewa in the state's mid-west, said that he was pleased to have secured the confidence of the Board demonstrated by his election as Deputy Chairman.

"Since the merger of CBH with Grain Pool, there have been numerous positive synergies created within the CBH Group, and with these continuing it is an exciting time to be representing WA grain growers through this new role," Mr Critch said.

"There are many significant projects on the horizon for the CBH Group, particularly in forging opportunities arising from our new partnership with the Salim Group, through joint venture company, Pacific Agrifoods.

"While our focus will remain on the business of grain storage, handling and marketing WA grain, we will ensure that CBH is in a position to capitalise on opportunities in the value chain that will return greater value to WA grain growers.

"I am passionate about the grains industry and believe that there is a huge potential to further the success of the CBH Group, and I am looking forward to being involved in this, on behalf of WA growers."

[Close]
05 MayAgraCorp donates oats to needy through Foodbank

AgraCorp Pty Ltd, a marketing subsidiary of Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited, last month donated 50 tonnes of milling quality oats to aid organisation Foodbank WA, which distributes food to the needy throughout Western Australia.

The oats were valued at approximately $6,500 and were purchased by AgraCorp during the 2003-04 harvest.

General Manager AgraCorp Andrew Young said that given the abundant season in 2003-04 in Western Australia, it was important to spread this good fortune to those in need.

"It is important for us to keep in perspective how relatively fortunate we are and to be a good corporate citizen which recognises and embraces its social responsibility," Mr Young said.

"Oats are renowned for their nutritional qualities and provide an excellent high-fibre food source. This particular parcel of oats will be processed by Quaker Oats, with whom we have a long-standing relationship, and will then be distributed to schools throughout Western Australia."

[Close]

April

29 AprilBetter QA for CBH growers

Co-operative Bulk Handling Chairman Robert Sewell yesterday launched a new CBH on-farm quality assurance program - Better Farm IQ, in an initiative to better manage risks to the Western Australian grains industry.

Mr Sewell announced to more than 50 growers who attended the launch at Doodlakine that Better Farm IQ qualified grain growers will benefit from "risk reduction" repayments of $0.25 per tonne on storage and handling charges, and a further $0.25 per tonne for delivering to Grain Pool or Agracorp.

CBH Chairman Robert Sewell said that one of the biggest risks to Western Australia's grain industry is a food safety incident.

"Effective quality assurance from farm to customer will increase grain integrity in the supply chain and preserve the profitability of our grains industry," Mr Sewell said.

"While a single contaminated grain in a whole shipment may not seem harmful, it can have a direct and significant impact on grower payments, potential infrastructure investment and the company's bottom line.

"The affect of quality claims can damage Western Australia's reputation as a trustworthy, reliable supplier of good quality grain. Given 90 per cent of Western Australian grain is marketed internationally, a good reputation is invaluable in providing Western Australian growers a competitive advantage on the world market.

"Additionally, the closer working relationship developed between growers and CBH through Better Farm IQ is an enormous benefit in increasing our capacity to respond to the complexities and changes in global markets. This partnership ensures our customers get the quality of grain they want."

Mr Sewell said that within the next five years, he expected that the significant majority of grain delivered to CBH would be quality assured under the Better Farm IQ system.

CBH Better Farm IQ provides an easy to understand, streamlined framework to help growers manage their on-farm food safety risks. Better Farm IQ, which can also cover mixed farming enterprises, is an internationally recognised Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) compliant program.

Comprehensive Better Farm IQ training and facilitation workshops will be conducted by CBH in the coming months, where growers can register under the program. For further information, contact Dave Jeffries on 9454 0358 or Nicole Kerr on 9454 0359.

[Close]
27 AprilCBH supports country football

CBH Chairman Robert Sewell launched the CBH Group sponsorship of the Western Australian Country Football League (WACFL), presenting a $40,000 sponsorship cheque to WACFL President Ken Baxter at the Wongan-Ballidu versus Goomalling football match in Wongan Hills on Saturday.

The CBH sponsorship supports the WACFL's State Country Senior team, CBH State Country Colts team, CBH Colts team and the CBH Colts All-Stars. In total, 12 Western Australian football leagues, comprising 84 clubs and 195 teams, directly benefit from CBH support.

The CBH Group's sponsorship of country football is part of a wider sports sponsorship program covering hockey, netball and cricket in the WA grainbelt.

Mr Sewell said that he was delighted to personally present the cheque in Wongan Hills to signify the launch of the CBH Group football sponsorship for 2004.

"The partnership developed with the WACFL during the past couple of years is very important to the CBH Group in consolidating the ties CBH has with rural communities," Mr Sewell said.

"Through the community participation it fosters, the game of football contributes strongly to the social development of many rural areas in which the CBH Group operates.

"The CBH Group relies on the support of rural communities, with many of our staff living and working in these areas. Through programs such as the WACFL sponsorship we are demonstrating in turn, our commitment to supporting and encouraging the community spirit.

"I am proud to be able to show the CBH Group's continuing commitment to grainbelt communities through this sponsorship."

[Close]
07 AprilNew CBH Chairman commences term

Allan Watson conducted his final official duty as the CBH Group Chairman at Co-operative Bulk Handling's 71st Annual General Meeting today and Robert Sewell, CBH Group Chairman-elect was ushered in as the company's new leader.

The election to the CBH Board of Colin Butcher representing the CBH Kwinana zone, was also announced at the AGM, filling the vacancy left by Mr Watson.

The expiry of the terms of CBH Directors David Adams, in the CBH Albany zone and Steven Tilbrook in the CBH Esperance zone, required they stand for re-election. Both were successful in retaining their CBH Board seats.

The incumbent Chairman Robert Sewell commended outgoing Chairman Allan Watson on his strong and competent leadership of CBH during the past eight years.

"Allan has steered CBH in a time when momentous change has dominated the industry and during this turbulence, he has demonstrated clear commitment and passion for the grains industry," Mr Sewell said.

"Of significant note was his role in driving the successful CBH-Grain Pool merger and this achievement is a tribute to his resolve and passion to sustain the future of the company and the livelihood of the Western Australian grains industry."

CBH CEO Imre Mencshelyi commented on the CBH Group's financial performance for the 2002-2003 reporting period and forecast a strong surplus for 2003-04.

"The CBH Group recorded an operating surplus of $7.483 million in the 2002-03 period based on limited revenue from a 5.2 million tonne harvest and excluding the profit generated by the acquisition of Grain Pool," Mr Mencshelyi said.

"For the 2003-04 reporting period, derived from a harvest of 14.5 million tonnes, we are optimistic of achieving a healthy surplus before tax."

Mr Mencshelyi predicted that increasing grain production, further industry alliances and securing markets through the provision of clean and safe grain would feature in the landscape of the grains industry going forward.

[Close]
07 AprilNew alliance between The Salim Group and CBH

A new alliance has been formed between the Salim Group and the CBH Group which has the potential to open up exciting new trade prospects for Australian farmers into Asia.

The two groups have formed a 50/50 joint venture company, Pacific Agrifoods Pty Ltd ("Pacific Agrifoods") as a platform for investment in the agricultural supply chain in both the Australian and Asian regions.

As a demonstration of its commitment to the Australian and Asian agricultural food sectors, Pacific Agrifoods has acquired The Salim Group's 4.85% interest in Futuris Corporation Limited ("Futuris") at $1.60 per share.

Pacific Agrifoods' investment in Futuris is supported by the Futuris Board and provides an opportunity for all three organisations to work together on various supply chain initiatives.

The Chief Executive of the Salim Group, Mr Anthony Salim said, "The CBH Group is a significant participant in Australian agriculture and represents a very logical and synergistic partner for The Salim Group."

Mr Salim went on to say that, "The Salim Group has a long and successful association with farmers throughout Australia. The opportunity of forming a close relationship with CBH will certainly enhance this association."

CBH Group Chairman Allan Watson was similarly enthusiastic and said "We are extremely pleased and excited at the opportunity to form a strong relationship with The Salim Group, a major participant in the Asian food market and market leader in Indonesia."

Mr Watson stated further that "We consider this move as an ideal long term business investment and we look forward to working with The Salim Group. Both organisations share similar goals and a common vision and can use this common approach to drive shareholder value for our respective organisations."

[Close]

March

19 MarchAgraCorp footy winners kick a goal for their club

The winners of the AgraCorp "Kick a goal for country footy" competition, announced at the CBH Group sports sponsorship launch in Narrogin today, will benefit country football clubs by $5,000.

To enter the competition, grain growers simply had to deliver wheat to the AgraCorp Advance during the 2003-04 harvest. The three largest deliverers to the Advance and a fourth, randomly drawn, won $1,000 to put towards their local football club.

CBH Group Director Ken Palmer said that it was a great pleasure to deliver back to growers through AgraCorp, to help keep country football alive and well.

"We understand the important role football plays in the lives of rural Western Australians and that it is a major contributor to life in country communities," Mr Palmer said.

"The $1,000 difference to a football club is significant when you consider it represents 85 per cent of a club's annual insurance bill, half a set of new football jumpers or 13 new Sherrin footballs."

The winners of the $1,000 are listed below.

Mark and Scott Wandel donating to the Gibson Football Club

Brian Watson donating to the Mukinbudin Football Club

Colin and Brian Shipley donating to the Wickepin Football Club

Ben Lamont donating to the Tambellup Football Club

Mr Palmer said due to the success of the 2003-04 harvest, AgraCorp had extended the competition to deliver even more wins to country football.

"We have chosen to give $200 to the next six top deliverers to the AgraCorp Advance during harvest 2003-04 to support their local footy club of choice," Mr Palmer said.

The winners of this $200 are listed below.

Mary Lucchesi donating to the Kulin Football Club

Sean Powell donating to the Quairading Junior Football Club

Keith & Elaine Ludlow donating to the Morawa Football Club

Tim Lloyd donating to the Newdegate Football Club

Kevin Fuschbichler donating to the Bruce Rock Football Club

Greg Dunkeld donating to the Newdegate Football Club

[Close]
29 MarchCBH ships another million tonnes

More than one million tonnes of grain has been shipped out of Western Australia this month via Co-operative Bulk Handling's four export terminals in Kwinana, Esperance, Albany and Geraldton.

This makes the fourth consecutive month of grain shipments from WA exceeding one million tonnes.

CBH General Manager Operations Colin Tutt said the Esperance terminal achieved a record when 66,333 tonnes of wheat was loaded on to the Nemea, which sailed for Indonesia on 21 March. This broke the previous record in January when a 63,000 tonne shipment of barley was lifted from Esperance on behalf of CBH's marketing subsidiary, Grain Pool.

Mr Tutt said the increased activity at the CBH Esperance terminal is allowing fuller utilisation of capital strategically invested in the Esperance zone, including upgrades to the CBH Grass Patch receival facility and the recently constructed CBH Shark Lake facility 13 kilometres north of the port.

"It is imperative CBH provides the most efficient possible grain logistics and ship loading services to customers, particularly with shipping freight rates currently at a premium," Mr Tutt said.

"CBH will continue its strategic investment in the storage network to provide optimum returns on capital while maintaining a high level of service, with WA grain growers benefiting from further efficiencies achieved within the network."

A record shipment from the CBH Geraldton Terminal was also recorded on 19 March when 42,264 tonnes of wheat was loaded, with a 50,000 tonne ship scheduled for early April set to break this record once again.

Mr Tutt said the recent dredging of the Geraldton port played a major role in allowing the CBH Geraldton terminal to achieve shipping records.

"The deepening of the channel and basin of Geraldton Port has allowed Handimax vessels to be fully loaded with grain from the CBH Geraldton terminal, removing the requirement to top-up vessels from the CBH Kwinana terminal. This has significantly increased the efficiency of grain movements and CBH ship loading operations," Mr Tutt said.

"With more than 11 million tonnes of grain currently held in CBH storages, CBH will continue to facilitate a heavy export program. We plan to continue to load approximately one million tonnes of grain per month, across all terminals, to prepare CBH storages for efficient grain intake during next harvest."

[Close]
16 MarchGraduates set sail with the CBH Group

A CBH Group initiative is providing five graduates the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills and experience within Co-operative Bulk Handling, one of Australia's leading grains industry organisations.

Five university graduates were successful in gaining a place on the 12-month CBH Group Graduate Development Program which began last week. The program aims to equip graduates to meet the challenges provided by the workplace, fulfill their potential and promote a passion for the grains industry and agribusiness.

CBH CEO Imre Mencshelyi said the program had been implemented to tap into the pool of bright, young people who were willing to contribute their talents to the CBH Group.

"In return, CBH can provide graduates with a progressive work environment that exposes them to the dynamic and growing Western Australian grain industry," Mr Mencshelyi said.

"The company is committed to providing training and development opportunities to encourage excellence in all our staff. We are pleased to introduce a graduate development program to encourage high calibre people to join our organisation at entry level.

"There is certainly a wealth of diverse opportunities available to graduates on the program and potential for them to establish a gratifying career within CBH.

"CBH values its employees and we aim to create a working environment to ensure that we continue to promote and retain our staff."

The graduates will follow a structured rotation through the different business streams of CBH, including country operations. Graduates will also be provided with other development opportunities.

The successful graduates, profiled below, won their places by successfully undertaking a rigorous selection program.

CBH Group Graduate Profile

Emma Gould



Emma's strong interest in pursuing a career in marketing recommended her for a graduate place with Grain Pool. Emma studied a Bachelor of Commerce, double majoring in marketing and German language, at the University of Western Australia. Her studies provided her the grounding for a technical understanding of strategic marketing, consumer behaviour and international marketing.

Emma has established a strong focus in customer service with experience in hospitality, public relations, sales and marketing.

Dean Thomas



Dean's interest in agriculture stems from growing up on a farm in Ravensthorpe in the state's south east. He schooled in Albany and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Honours at the University of Western Australia and then embarked on PhD study. Dean is currently completing his PhD on the topic "Strategies for better weed control in a grazed pasture phase".

Dean's mix of practical and theoretical knowledge recommended him highly to the Graduate Program's selection panel.

Kezia Pontifex



Kezia is no stranger to CBH having worked at the Doodlakine receival facility for the past seven years. She now has the opportunity to expand her knowledge of CBH in other operational areas. Kezia graduated with a degree in agribusiness from the Muresk Institute of Agriculture. She has gained practical experience as a farm hand and also worked at CALM as a researcher.

Brendan Hirniak



Brendan graduated from the University of Western Australia with a degree in Natural Resource Management and during his studies gained a wealth of experience in collecting, processing and analysing data. Significantly he was part of a team who undertook environmental impact research on the lower Moore River. Brendan also worked for several years as an assistant manager at a McDonalds restaurant.

Brad Castle



Brad is a graduate in Commerce from the Curtin University of Technology with a major in international business. Born and bred in Narrogin, Brad has a natural affinity for the agricultural industry and was keen to apply his studies and practical knowledge through the CBH Group graduate program. Brad has worked with Breedtech, an artificial breeding organisation based in Kojonup, and spent two years as a stockman on Kolindale Merino Stud in Wickepin, as well as being heavily involved with his family's farming enterprise in Narrogin.

[Close]
08 MarchMore Grain Pool and AgraCorp service for growers

Grain Pool and AgraCorp have created a new Regional Manager position to enhance service for grain growers in the CBH Kwinana zone.

Katie Cole will take up the new role of Grain Pool Regional Manager, Kwinana West, and cover the grainbelt area from Watheroo, east to Kellerberrin and south to Williams.

Based in Northam, Ms Cole will work closely with Corrigin-based Grain Pool Regional Manager Rikki Foss in the Kwinana zone. Ms Foss will focus on boosting services to growers in the eastern section of the Kwinana zone.

Ms Cole holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness (Marketing) from Muresk Institute of Agriculture and has been employed with Grain Pool since November 2001 in the Grower Services division.

She said that she was looking forward to the new challenge of her role as a Grain Pool Regional Manager and wanted to enhance grower operations in the area.

"As the interface between growers and Grain Pool, and AgraCorp, I can provide up-to-date commodity, price and technical information to assist growers with their marketing decisions," Ms Cole said.

"The range of AgraCorp and Pool products has expanded in the past few years and an important element of my role is educating growers about the range of marketing alternatives, and to assist them determine which are the most appropriate for their business."

Ms Cole said that the role of a Grain Pool Regional Manager includes the collection of information on production and crop yields in the area for planning purposes.

"As a result of our close working relationship with CBH operations, Grain Pool Regional Managers can also assist growers with warehouse reversions, new property registrations and on-line services such as CBH Load_Net."

Ms Cole joins the team of Grain Pool Regional Managers of Peter Scott in Geraldton, Linda Price in Katanning, David Syme in Esperance and Rikki Foss, Kwinana East.

Katie Cole can be reached in Northam on 9622 5130, on mobile 0427 518 504 or on email katie.cole@grainpool.com.au

[Close]
08 MarchMen’s health wins from CBH sponsorship

An imaginative approach to men's health issues in the Yuna district has attracted valuable support from Co-operative Bulk Handling.

A Men's Health Forum will be held in Yuna on Tuesday, 11 March and is being coordinated by the Creating A Better Yuna (CABY) organisation.

CBH is sponsoring the dinner component of the event with a contribution of $1,000 as part of the company's Growing Better Together sponsorship program.

CBH Chairman Allan Watson said CBH had made a substantial investment in both infrastructure and people in rural WA for over 70 years and saw the forum as a way to make an important contribution to family and community life.

"We are in the grain handling business for the long haul and we'd like country people to be around for a long time too," Mr Watson said.

"Getting men to be aware of and to value their health often needs fresh and imaginative ideas and the Men's Health Forum certainly incorporates those."

Mr Watson said the program would start with a Men's Health 'Pit Stop', on the basis that men can relate their health to having a body that is a 'well-oiled machine or vehicle'.

CABY expects at least 70 men to be attracted to participate. After the Pit Stop exercise they will be joined by families for a healthy dinner provided and prepared by Yuna CWA with guidance from nutritionist and dietician Glen Cardwell.

Mr Watson said that there will be a number of interesting speakers at the dinner including Glen Cardwell and John White from the MidWest Men's Health Unit.

"I would like to congratulate CABY, the Yuna CWA and the local community for their vision and practical approach to this important rural issue," Mr Watson said.

"It promises to be a great event and I urge the men of the Yuna district to get along and support it."

[Close]

February

16 MarchGood sport CBH Group launches $80,000 sponsorship

Co-operative Bulk Handling Group of companies today launched an $80,000 sponsorship package to benefit country football, netball, cricket and hockey associations active across the grainbelt.

The Western Australian Country Football League (WACFL), Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA), WA Netball and WA Hockey Association are benefiting from funding to promote involvement in their respective sports in rural areas.

CBH Chairman Allan Watson said that this significant sponsorship would advantage thousands of people living in rural communities throughout WA's grain growing regions.

"During the 2003-04 harvest we gained a high level of cooperation from Western Australian grain growing communities which assisted in the successful receival and handling of a record harvest," Mr Watson said.

"It is my pleasure to be able to acknowledge growers' support in this way, through the significant sponsorship of local sporting clubs which are the lifeblood of many country communities.

"Sport and the level of participation it attracts, assists in reinforcing the fabric of regional Western Australia. Sporting competition and events draw communities together and provide an opportunity to build and strengthen community ties and relationships."

Mr Watson said CBH was proud to be connected to so many rural lives and to be further contributing to the vitality of rural WA.

"CBH has been integral to the rural landscape for more than 70 years. We have almost 200 receival facilities in our network across the grainbelt and many CBH employees live and work or have connections to these grainbelt communities.

"We take our responsibility to support communities in which we operate seriously because without them, we could not sustain our business."

A demonstration of the four sports supported by CBH through the sponsorship was conducted at the Narrogin Leisure Centre during the launch.

The sports sponsorship is expected to increase the profile and participation of cricket, football, hockey and netball in the grainbelt. Each group will use the funding to assist in marketing, clinics, events and competitions throughout the state.

[Close]
08 MarchGrain Pool 2004-05 indicators announced

At Outlook meetings last week, Grain Pool announced initial estimated price indicators for the 2004-05 barley, lupin and canola pools. Values were $165-$190 per tonne for malting barley $145-$170 per tonne for feed barley $185-$205 per tonne for lupins and $360-$380 per tonne for canola.

General Manager Grain Pool Dr Andy Crane, said the opening estimates reflected the current market outlook and a strong Australian dollar, continuing strong freight rates and a return to average production levels in Europe and North America.

"When setting these indicator values we have assumed that the Australian dollar will earn an average of 80 cents in the US dollar," Dr Crane said.

"A major factor in the indicator decisions was consideration to the size of the northern hemisphere crops which are a significant pointer in price direction. Present indications are for good average crops, and we have factored this in.

"In addition, it is anticipated that freight rates will maintain their strength during the next 12 months, which has also been taken into consideration when setting the indicators.

"Until seasonal and financial signals become clearer, current market assumptions are reflected in the 2004-05 pool indicators.

"More detailed market information will be issued during Outlook meetings and I encourage growers to attend to gain the benefit of these market briefs, to help plan their planting and marketing strategies during the next 18 months."

2003-04 pools perform strongly

Dr Crane said Grain Pool had continued to manage the 2003-04 pools effectively and pool performances were strong.

"In particular, the Grain Pool canola team has managed the canola pool into an excellent position, with strong sales allowing the increase of the 2003-04 canola pool indicator by $5 last week.

"Growers will also receive top-up payments for the 2003-04 pools this week. Pool participants will be paid $9 per tonne for malting and feed barley, $27.50 per tonne for canola and $17.50 per tonne for lupins," Dr Crane said.

"Further upsides in oilseed and feed markets will be capitalised on and delivered to growers in the next top-ups, distributed in August this year."



[Close]
17 FebruaryGrain Pool announces February top-ups

Grain Pool has confirmed February top-up payments for growers participating in the 2003-04 barley, canola and lupin pools.

The amounts of $9.00 per tonne for feed and malting barley, $17.50 per tonne for lupins and $27.50 per tonne for canola, will be distributed to participating growers during early March 2004.

Grain Pool General Manager Dr Andy Crane said that the distributions were at the top-end of the payment ranges indicated last month.

"Lupins in particular performed very well hitting the top of the range indicated," Dr Crane said.

"Expectations of another record harvest in South America will however create volatility in the lupin market in the second half of the year. In addition, the effect of the Avian flu outbreak in Asia could place pressure on lupin values in the medium term. However, soybean shipping delays in Brazil may provide opportunities for protein alternatives such as lupins.

"In the malting barley market, there continues to be greater uncertainty in international markets in comparison to the relatively stable feed barley markets, and top-up payments reflect this.

"The canola marketing team continues to market WA canola into premium markets and we should see the pool further capitalise on the continuing strength in the market.

"The performance of the 2003-04 pools will be reviewed at upcoming Outlook meetings in February and March. The strength of pool marketing will be highlighted as well as predictions made for 2004-05 pool values.

[Close]
13 FebruaryCBH confident in Lakes district grain growers

Co-operative Bulk Handling acknowledged the success of the recently completed harvest in the Lakes districts yesterday, during a ceremony at the CBH Mt Madden receival point, which officially recognised capital upgrades to the facility.

A $3 million upgrade was completed 2002 to augment the storage capacity of the CBH Mt Madden facility by 40,000 tonnes, and included a new sample platform and weighbridge, to increase receival services in the area.

The details of the 2004 capital works for the neigbouring CBH receival facility at Lake King were also announced at the ceremony. Two 20,000 tonne storage structures and associated inloading equipment, a new sampling platform and a 160 tonne weighbridge will be constructed in time for the 2004-05 harvest.

Local farmer and CBH director Steve Tilbrook said that capital investment in the CBH Esperance zone is increasing the company's ability to provide improved services to grain growers in the area.

"The record harvest this season was achieved by a combination of increasing crop yields and improved farming technology. Grain production and delivery speeds can only continue to grow," Mr Tilbrook said.

"Applying a network plan whereby capital expenditure is concentrated at designated primary sites and to a lesser extent, secondary sites, aims to maximise the efficiency of each dollar spent, and providing growers the most efficient receival network possible.

"This will mean we can cater for increasing production and preserve the efficiency of the supply chain.

"The Esperance zone itself received a record two million tonnes of grain this season, which demonstrates the need to invest in the area.

"The recent upgrades in the CBH Esperance zone including Mt Madden and Grass Patch, the new facility at Shark Lake, and future works at Lake King and Cascades, are in line with the current strategic network plan of targeting capital at primary sites.

"Classification of CBH receival facilities as primary sites is determined by consideration to grain production, delivery patterns, transport networks and CBH infrastructure."

Mr Tilbrook said a total of 48 primary receival sites operated during the 2003-04 harvest season, offering extended operating hours and a range of additional services for grain deliverers.

"CBH is committed to improving the quality of its storage and handling services for Western Australian grain growers and has great confidence in the growing success of the grains industry in this state."

During the 2003-04 harvest, the CBH Mt Madden receival facility took a total of 111,018 tonnes of grain and established a daily receival record of 6,529 tonnes on 23 December 2003. The site currently has 192,600 tonnes of storage space available and an inloading capacity of 1,700 tonnes per hour.



[Close]
10 FebruaryMinister’s decision pleases Grain Pool

Grain Pool applauded today's decision by the WA Minister for Agriculture Kim Chance to reject an appeal for a further shipment of canola outside single desk arrangements.

The Grain Licensing Authority (GLA) has the power to issue permits to export bulk grain shipments from WA outside the Grain Pool's single desk. To date it has granted bulk export permits of 433,000 tonnes of feed barley, 48,000 tonnes of canola, 20,000 tonnes of lupins and 35,000 tonnes of malting barley to private traders.

In December 2003, the Minister overturned a decision made by the GLA which allowed 35,000 tonnes of malting barley to be exported to China, an existing Grain Pool market.

Dr Andy Crane, Grain Pool General Manager said the Minister's decision today to reject a 40,000 tonne canola licence to Japan would apply the brakes to the piecemeal deregulation occurring in the WA market via GLA permits.

"Our confidence in the appeal process still needs to be reinforced. For the Minister to make sound decisions regarding export permits, his advisors should be required to consult fully with Grain Pool to determine the effect of these appealed licences on Grain Pool markets," Dr Crane said.

"Grain Pool has developed the market in Japan for WA canola over many years and established secure, long-term relationships. A further licence for canola would have brought unnecessary price competition and confusion in a premium market.

"Western Australia's single desk simply will not survive further selective removal of its best markets and the best parts of the crop, nor the loss of significant pool volume.

"A single desk is about being a sole supplier and by leveraging this status we are able to reward WA growers by maintaining market share in premium markets."

Dr Crane said Grain Pool supported the Grains Licensing Authority while its charter included the protection of single desk.

"Going forward, Grain Pool would like meaningful input into the appeal process to protect the single desk and allow the GLA to meet the charter established at its formation.

"That is to increase growers' marketing opportunities by establishing new markets, rather than granting licences to supply existing customers and markets."

[Close]
09 FebruaryMulti-million dollar Albany upgrade to go ahead

The CBH Board of Directors last week approved a multi-million dollar upgrade of its Albany port terminal to improve services to Great Southern grain growers.

The proposed upgrade will improve road and rail discharge and shiploading operations, streamline road access and improve weighbridge and sampling facilities to speed up the grain delivery process, particularly during harvest.

The construction project is currently being scheduled, but is expected to commence in early May this year.

CBH Chairman Allan Watson said the upgrade would provide greater efficiencies and improved services at the port and consolidate CBH as a major player in the national grains industry.

"The upgrade will bring our Albany facilities into line with those at CBH's Geraldton, Kwinana and Esperance terminals and secure the grain industry's future in the great southern.

"The upgrade has been driven by steady growth in grain production in the Albany agricultural region and company policy of seeking continual improvements in quality, efficiency and environmental best practice.

"The expected outcomes include reduced costs through operating efficiencies, a safer environment and additional shipping capacity."

Mr Watson said the decision followed a rigorous 18-month process that included a feasibility study, submission of an Environmental Assessment Management Plan to the Department of Environment, development of conceptual engineering detail and extensive community consultation.

"One of the objectives of the project is to achieve equal or better environmental performance than the existing terminal," Mr Watson said.

"Our upgrade plans have been developed in consultation with local community and government to meet the needs of a rigorous environmental criteria.

"I am confident that the conceptual development to date will deliver an outcome that will meet both the community's expectations and CBH's objective to provide a modern facility."

Mr Watson said the upgrade would be compatible with the State Government's stated recognition of the strategic importance of the State's regional ports.

[Close]
09 FebruaryCBH Group establishes shipping records

The CBH Group has broken three shipping records so far this year, highlighting the Group's commitment to clearing the record harvest from the storage and handling network.

CBH has established a new record for the volume of grain loaded and shipped during the month of January, and recorded its largest ever grain cargo from the Geraldton port terminal. In addition, Grain Pool and AgraCorp recorded their largest ever volume of grain exported within a month.

In total, CBH shipped 1,330,881 tonnes of grain from its four export terminals in Albany, Geraldton, Esperance and Kwinana during January 2004. The previous best for the month of January was 1,276,603 tonnes, which was achieved in 1999.

This shipping record was quickly followed with the loading of 41,800 tonnes of wheat on the MV Oriental on 5 February, which is the largest cargo ever to leave the CBH Geraldton port terminal. The previous largest cargo at Geraldton was a 39,166 tonne shipment completed during December 1999.

The January cargoes from Grain Pool and AgraCorp, which comprised barley, lupins, canola, field peas and oats, totalled 574,379 tonnes. The previous monthly export high of 459,447 tonnes of Grain Pool and AgraCorp grain was recorded in 1998.

CBH General Manger Operations Colin Tutt said it had been an excellent shipping month which had eased the port congestion following the record harvest.

"This level of shipping activity is really good news for us as it is important to clear storages of this season's grain quickly, to prepare the network for next harvest," Mr Tutt said.

"If we experience favourable growing conditions during the coming season, and with an overall trend of increasing yields, we could be looking at another sizeable harvest."

Grain Pool General Manager Andy Crane said that closer working relations between Grain Pool marketing, shipping and chartering staff and CBH logistics staff had been pivotal in achieving this milestone.

"In December 2003 and January 2004 we have exported a total of almost one million tonnes of grain," Dr Crane said.

"This level of shipping is part of a plan to market grain earlier this year in order to save on storage costs and ensure grain is cleared before next harvest.

"In excess of 70 per cent of cargoes during December and January were chartered by Grain Pool and AgraCorp. This ensures maximum control over the supply chain and generates additional value on behalf of WA growers."

[Close]

January

29 JanuaryCBH Group benefits as one-stop shop

A delegation from the CBH Group has reported a highly positive response to its visit to Grain Pool customers in the Middle East this month.

General Manager of Bulkwest Engineering Colin Barry and Grain Pool Commercial Manager Michael Hadfield visited three Middle East countries over one week.

CBH CEO Imre Mencshelyi said the visit successfully promoted the CBH Group's expertise in grain marketing and in engineering and manufacturing grain handling equipment to customers.

"Marketing the company to international grain customers as a total package of grain chain services provides openings for long-term business relationships and creates a marketing edge for the Group," Mr Mencshelyi said.

"The end beneficiaries are Western Australian grain growers, the grain industry and the state through increased export opportunities.

"The visit is a good example of our efforts to create value adding opportunities for overseas clients by promoting the advantages of harnessing the raft of CBH Group's expertise and services.

"We see great opportunities to promote CBH's highly developed experience and technical knowledge of storage and handling as a lever for Grain Pool's marketing of Western Australian grain."

While in the Middle East, the CBH delegation attended Outlook 2004, an international conference in Jordan on the reconstruction of Iraq.

The CBH Group's involvement in the conference was to ascertain the current situation in Iraq and to assess and monitor potential opportunities to create value for the company and for Western Australian grain growers.

[Close]
23 JanuaryGrain Pool takes front foot on shipping

Grain Pool Pty Ltd shipped 63,000 tonnes of feed barley from CBH's Esperance grain terminal to Iran this week, representing one of the largest single shipments of feed barley ever undertaken by the company.

Grain Pool also chartered the brand new Taiwanese-owned vessel Tai Progress to transport the Iranian cargo. The shipment to Iran signifies Tai Progress's maiden voyage.

Grain Pool General Manager Dr Andy Crane said the feed barley shipment was one of many sales that formed part of Grain Pool's marketing campaign to shift this season's record Western Australian harvest.

"We are marketing grain earlier this year in order to save on storage costs and ensure we clear the grain before next harvest," Dr Crane said.

"Grain Pool is working closely with CBH's logistics division to ensure that cargoes can be sourced and loaded as efficiently as possible, and this closer working relationship is a great benefit to our operations.

"Through effectively co-ordinating the large number of vessels that are necessary to ship this season's harvest, we are able to maximise any freight advantages. With Grain Pool chartering the vessel, we can maintain optimal control over the supply chain and can preserve the natural WA freight advantage of being close to Asia and the sub-continent, for the benefit of growers.

"Combined with our successful freight hedging, which has minimised the impact of increasing freight rates, this will benefit growers through achieving higher returns.

Grain Pool generally markets its pooled grain over an 18 month period which allows it to capitalise on upward swings in the market over that time.

Growers who delivered to the Grain Pool's 2003-04 feed barley pool can currently expect returns of between $170 and $190 per tonne.

[Close]
14 JanuaryCBH Chairman announces 2004 capital program

Co-operative Bulk Handling's Chairman Allan Watson announced today the company is committing more than $24 million to improve the receival network in time for next harvest.

In 2003, $32 million was allocated to capital works and a further $23 million was invested in the receival network to cater for record harvest deliveries.

Mr Watson said that the 2004 capital works program would upgrade facilities in line with the current CBH strategic network plan.

"Under the network plan, CBH receival facilities had been classified into primary, secondary and satellite sites with consideration to grain production, delivery patterns, transport networks and CBH infrastructure," Mr Watson said.

"Capital expenditure is concentrated at designated primary sites and to a lesser extent, secondary sites to maximise the efficiency of each dollar spent.

"It aims to ensure that primary sites are accessible, so growers can choose to deliver direct to their most efficient site during harvest."

Mr Watson said that increasing crop yields and improved farming technology has required CBH to streamline the receival network to enable the most efficient use of its capabilities.

"In this way, CBH can continue providing shareholders and customers with superior services while ensuring the available capital expenditure is used effectively.

Mr Watson said that planning had commenced for the 2004 capital program and some of the construction would begin in late February 2004.

The CBH Kwinana zone will benefit from three receival facility upgrades, the CBH Albany and Esperance zones from two upgrades, and the CBH Geraldton zone from one receival facility upgrade.

Further details of the 2004 capital works are outlined below.

Site Works
Cascades (primary site) 60,000 tonne horizontal storage
 2 x 500 tonne per hour elevators
Hyden (primary site) 2 x 25,000 bulkheads
 2 x 500 tonne per hour inloading grids
 Relocation of weighbridge and sample platform
Kojonup (secondary site) 4 x 1,250 tonne cells and associated inloading equipment
Lake King (primary site) 2 x 20,000 tonne cells and associated inloading equipment
 New marshalling area, sample platform and weighbridge carried over from 2003
Perenjori (primary site)
(works subject to change) 30,000 tonne open bulk head 500 tonne per hour inloading grid
Nomans Lake (primary site)
Watheroo (primary site)
Wickepin (secondary site) Marshalling, weighbridge and sampling facilities
Sites to be confirmed Rapid rail-loading facilities

[Close]
09 JanuaryGrain growers boosted by record payments

The 2003-04 Western Australian harvest, which currently stands at 14.2 million tonnes and has surpassed the existing state best, will see grower payments by Grain Pool and AgraCorp reach a record $751.5 million by the end of January.

This is $100 million greater than payment levels at the same time in previous years.

In excess of four million tonnes of grain has been delivered to Grain Pool's canola, barley and lupin pools and AgraCorp this harvest.

Grain Pool General Manager Andy Crane said record grower payments are indicative of the spectacular harvest and is a satisfying story for Western Australian growers and the grain industry.

"Our grain marketing efforts to date have been very successful, and in particular we are benefiting from good currency hedging against a strong Australian dollar," Dr Crane said.

"While the supply of Western Australian grain is plentiful, we are confident in our ability to manage the volume to secure the highest possible prices in our key markets.

"This can partly be attributed to long-term relationships with buyers in our markets and Western Australia's reputation for producing high quality grain, which continues to be a focus in the marketplace."

Dr Crane said increased communication between Grain Pool and CBH was evident in the efficiencies present in logistics operations this season.

"The close working relationship between Grain Pool marketers and CBH logistics staff has enabled grain cargoes to be sourced, assembled and shipped quickly, reducing pressure on the storage and handling network. Since 1 November 2003, we have loaded 27 cargoes to the Middle East, Europe, South America and South-East Asia.

AgraCorp General Manager Andrew Young said the number of growers delivering to AgraCorp had risen substantially this harvest, as had the volume delivered.

"The increase in growers utilising AgraCorp's range of pricing products demonstrates greater awareness of the flexibility these products can provide to their businesses."

[Close]
09 JanuaryCBH Chairman-elect announced

The CBH Board of Directors today re-elected Robert Sewell as CBH Deputy Chairman. The re-election will see Mr Sewell become CBH Chairman following the retirement of current Chairman Allan Watson at the close of CBH's Annual General Meeting on 7 April 2004.

Under CBH's Articles of Association, the Deputy Chairman of the Board automatically becomes Chairman-elect in the event the existing Chairman advises his intention to resign.

Mr Sewell said that he was looking forward to strengthening the excellent relationship created by Mr Watson between the storage and handling division and marketing division of the CBH group.

"I believe we are headed for an exciting time in the grain industry and I am looking forward to guiding the company into the future," he said.

CBH Chairman Allan Watson, who announced his intention to retire in early December 2003, said that Mr Sewell possessed the ability and enthusiasm to lead the Board in an ever-changing industry environment.

"Robert and I have known each other for many years, and we forged a strong alliance while working closely together in the months leading up to the merger of CBH and Grain Pool.

"We share a mutual dedication to fortifying the Western Australian grain industry, and I believe CBH and the grain industry will benefit from his experience, commitment and passion for agriculture," he said.

Mr Watson will continue as CBH Chairman for the duration of his term as Director and remains enthusiastic and committed to the company and the grain industry.

In addition to the election of Mr Sewell as Deputy Chairman, the Board of Directors also agreed to restructure the membership of the seven CBH Group Boards. Previously, each CBH Group subsidiary had a separate Board, comprising a unique membership, including a separate Chairman and Deputy Chairman.

The new Board structure sees the CBH Ltd Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Directors serve their respective roles on the Boards of all subsidiary companies.

It is anticipated that this unification will expose all Directors to the activities of each CBH Group company, thereby streamlining Board operations.

[Close]
05 JanuaryGrain Pool warns of threat to single desk

Grain Pool has responded to Minister for Agriculture Kim Chance's endorsement of an appeal against a GLA decision to refuse a malting barley bulk export permit to China.

General Manager Dr Andy Crane commented that the Minister's decision has serious implications for Western Australia's ability to secure long-term malting barley premiums.

"The Grain Licensing Authority (GLA) which issues special bulk export licences outside Grain Pool's single desk for barley, canola and lupins, rejected the permit application in the first instance, based on their information and assessment of the Chinese market," Dr Crane said.

Dr Crane said the Minister overturned the independent GLA decision, which will allow a NSW trader to supply malting barley to China outside Western Australia's single desk.

"The danger of this situation is that it will erode the premium and market stability Western Australian growers currently enjoy for malting barley in China.

"One reason the Minister gave for the upholding of the appeal was that the applicant was to supply a new customer not currently buying from Grain Pool.

"The issue of whether Grain Pool has previously supplied a particular customer in China is irrelevant. Grain Pool markets all the available malting barley to China, managing supply routes to achieve the maximum possible price. Part of that price management often involves deliberately not selling to certain buyers.

"We reject the argument that China is a range of segmented markets and that the license will not impact prices. The Chinese buyers are well informed and the opportunity to buy WA grain from another supplier will affect sentiment and our negotiating power.

"A single desk only works in a market like China when you are a sole seller. Ultimately, either the Minister believes in the single desk or he does not. We believe that the reasoning offered by the Minister's office for overturning the initial decision demonstrates a misunderstanding of how the single desk works".

Dr Crane commented that the Minister's statement regarding sale price and premium was misinformed, as Grain Pool has not yet established a malting barley price in China for the current marketing season.

"It is staggering that Grain Pool was not approached during the appeal process for information on market prices and customers. The barley market is not transparent and no independent expert could form a reliable judgment on the impact of such a license on the single desk without at least testing the publicly available information with the Grain Pool's marketers.

"In addition, the Minister's statement inferred that the tonnage of malting barley exported to China from WA has reduced over time.

"This statement was misleading, as Grain Pool has retained its share of the Chinese market. The figures the Minister used related to different scenarios, that is, the size of the Western Australian malting barley harvest, and secondly, the overall volume of grain purchased by the Chinese market from all suppliers.

"Grain Pool has accumulated an enormous knowledge and understanding of Chinese buyers over decades, which assists us to secure market access and generate premiums. We are dedicated to achieving the highest prices possible for growers.

"We uphold the highest quality standards for malting barley to ensure that we can continue to leverage premiums over the long term.

"If malting barley quality standards are compromised by the sale of malting barley by a new trader, it will have a flow on effect to the whole Chinese market. This could have a detrimental effect on the price Western Australian growers receive for their grain.

"Grain Pool continues to support the GLA while it has a clear focus on increasing value for growers and retaining market premiums and the integrity of the grain industry."

[Close]