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CBH records biggest day ever on Friday 26 November


Operations Update

CBH Harvest Report - 28 November 2021

*Tonnes stated are accurate as of Sunday morning, 28 November. 


The CBH Group experienced another large week of grain receivals with more than 2.8 million tonne delivered, bringing the total to more than 9 million tonnes.

Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said this period had been extremely busy across all zones, with sites continuing to break receival records. 

"With growers experiencing excellent harvesting conditions combined with higher than expected yields, we are seeing many sites continuing to break daily receival records, with another 12 this week."

"We had our biggest day ever on Friday, 26 November with 533,000 tonnes received across the network, and for the first time, we also had three consecutive days where we received over half a million tonnes each day."

"As mentioned previously, given the significant size of this year's crop, more sites and services will fill and close earlier this year if we can't keep them open with essential harvest outloading or extra storage."

"We continue to see pressure on sites on the Standard Gauge line where some services and sites have closed. We are doing everything that we can to alleviate this pressure." 

Mr Daw acknowledged that this may be frustrating for growers, however gave assurance that CBH is able to respond to the task. 

“In addition to the 1.5 million tonnes of emergency storage that we have built with 2 million tonnes planned, we have also opened some non-network sites to cater for larger volumes.”

We are also continuing to work with Aurizon, our rail provider, to outload grain to ensure services continue to be available at key sites," said Mr Daw.

We will continue to use the CDF app to send notifications on the availability of services, including temporary and permanent closures. If these closures do occur, the CDF app should also be used to determine where alternative services are available at surrounding sites. If you have any issues with the CDF app, please contact the Grower Service Centre 

Your Area Manager is also available to answer your questions. Their contact details are available in your Operations Harvest Guide or on the CBH website. 


Zone Summary

Albany Zone

  • Harvest in the Albany zone was interrupted by rain last week, including heavy falls in some areas that stopped growers for a few days. Weather conditions for the next 7 days look much more favourable for harvesting. 
  • The zone has received 1.16 million tonnes, with 450,000 tonnes in the last week.
  • With the slow start to harvest in the zone, canola, barley and oats remain the commodities making up the bulk of receivals. 
  • The weather does not seem to have impacted grain quality at this time.
  • All sites in the zone are now open for receivals with average cycle times for the zone improving slightly over the last week.


Esperance Zone

  • Harvest again stalled in the Esperance zone at the start of last week due to poor weather, but in the later part of the week tonnages increased significantly.  With a week of fine weather forecast, tonnages are expected to stay consistently high.
  • The zone received 1.7 million tonnes, with 450,000 tonnes in the last week.
  • Canola and barley receivals are decreasing and growers are switching to wheat. Pulse deliveries continue at lower volumes.
  • The weather does not seem to have impacted grain quality at this time and yields remain above expectations for all commodities.
  • All sites remain open, although one feed barley service will soon close, with growers being redirected to nearby sites.
  • Shark Lake and Ravensthorpe emergency storage is on track to be available for use this harvest.
  • The average cycle time is slightly higher than expected due to the high yields and large volume being delivered to Chadwick.

Geraldton Zone

  •  Last week the Geraldton zone had excellent harvesting conditions, resulting in 605,000 tonnes being delivered. This takes the zone total to 2.4 million tonnes.
  • Canna, Carnamah and Perenjori broke daily receival records during the week.
  • Wheat is now dominating receivals across the zone, with lower tonnages of the other commodities being delivered. Yields continue to be above expectations. 
  • All sites in the zone remain open, with the average cycle time across the zone improving slightly from last week.

Kwinana North Zone

  • The Kwinana North zone had very good harvesting conditions over the last week, receiving 755,000 tonnes. This brings the year-to-date total to just over 2.3 million tonnes.
  • More growers have finished their canola and barley programs and have started harvesting wheat throughout the zone.
  • Yields continue to exceed expectations for many growers, and overall grain quality remains good.
  • All sites in the zone are now open for receivals with average cycle times remaining consistent with previous weeks.

Kwinana South Zone

  • With good harvesting conditions over the last 7 days, harvest is now in full swing across the Kwinana South zone. 600,000 tonnes were received last week, bringing the zone total to 1.6 million tonnes for the season to date. 
  • Growers are finishing canola and barley programs in the north of the zone, with most switching over to wheat, lupins and oats. Growers in the south of the zone are still in full swing harvesting canola, barley and oats. 
  • Yields continue to exceed expectations for many growers, and overall grain quality remains good.
  • All sites in the zone are now open for receivals with average cycle times improving over the last week.


Market Update

At the end of last week international commodity markets drifted lower on concerns of the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron. This is likely to increase price volatility over the coming weeks as demand uncertainties are likely to evolve in countries impacted by the Omicron variant.


Canola prices continue to remain volatile as the market works demand in the second quarter of 2022. However this demand is likely to be sporadic on the basis of concerns of running into the European new crop at prices anticipated to be EUR110 per tonne lower.


Damage from ongoing rain on the Eastern Seaboard continues to be the predominant focus with a number of commentators suggesting 60 per cent of the NSW wheat crop will be feed type wheat further exacerbating the spread between APW and ASW. Last week this ballooned out to in excess of $100 per tonne as most of the trade looked to cover their milling requirements. APW and AH demand will remain strong on the back of significantly lower than anticipated supplies combined with strong demand from international flour millers. Growers have not been active sellers of the higher grades with APW hitting $435-$440 per tonne FIS Kwinana by the end of the week.


Whilst barley remains internationally competitive the predominant demand has been from the Middle East with key Southeast Asian countries focused on consuming their local corn crops. As a result barley prices remain in the $280’s FIS Kwinana.


Harvest Heroes

Each year, our existing CBH staff are joined by hundreds of harvest employees, and as a team they work together to receive the WA crop as safely and efficiently as possible. We want to highlight some of these harvest heroes who help make our grain supply chain the best in the world, and make harvest our favourite time of year.

Russel Saunders has been with CBH for over 43 years and has helped run the Geraldton Terminal West End during harvest since 1994.

In his current role as a Plant Operator, Russel takes great pride in making sure that everything runs smoothly at the West End and knows the site like the back of his hand. This includes always coming in early during harvest to help with planning the day.

Russel's wealth of experience is invaluable when the pressure of harvest is on. He freely shares this knowledge with all of his colleagues, including harvest staff and new plant operators that join the team throughout the year. This welcoming and supportive attitude helps new staff feel more comfortable in what can be a very overwhelming environment.

Although ensuring growers get through the site efficiently is important to Russel, safety is always his top focus. He is meticulous in completing all required paperwork and making sure everyone he's working with understands the task and is equipped to complete it safely.

On top of all this, Russel's colleagues say that he is a great bloke and is always up for a laugh, and that working with him is an absolute pleasure.

It’s people like Russel who make up our team of Harvest Heroes.

CBH Harvest Report 2021/22


(Geraldton Plant Operator Russel Saunders). 

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