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Welcome to our first Harvest Report update for the 2021/2022 harvest


Included in this update is information on last week's:

  • Receival statistics for each zone
  • Operations update
  • Zone summary's
  • Market update
  • CBH's Harvest Heroes

Operations Update

 Following the official start to harvest on 23 September, grain receivals have ramped up with more than two million tonnes delivered into the CBH network.

Grain has now been received across all zones, and the majority of sites are expected to open in the next few weeks.

Chief Operations Officer Mick Daw said it had been a relatively early, but slow start to harvest, with receivals significantly picking up last week.

"While recent rainfall events slowed most growers down, we have started to see the pace of deliveries ramp back up, with approximately 1,423,000 tonnes delivered throughout the last week," Mr Daw said.

 "All commodities are now in the system, with nearly half of our receivals made up of canola.

 "While harvest is still in its early stages, grower feedback has indicated yields are slightly higher than initially expected in some zones, while others have been impacted by weather events".

 "Grain quality is generally looking really good for canola and barley, although some zones that were frost-affected have light-weight grain."

 Mr Daw reminded growers that although it is an exciting time of year, CBH is encouraging everyone to stay safe.

 "With everyone expecting a record harvest, we know that pressures are high to get the crop off quickly and efficiently. However, we are encouraging everyone to do the right thing, be patient and stay safe."

 "We are working hard to balance the expected pressure on cycle times at larger sites to ensure that we maximise throughput as best we can.

 "However, we have a lot of new harvest casuals working on site so please be friendly and remain patient as they continue to learn and help us safely receive this bumper crop."

Zone Summary

Geraldton Zone

  • The Geraldton Zone is slowly starting to see receivals pick up with 790,000 tonnes delivered so far with just over:
  • 55 per cent of the canola estimate;
  • 40 per cent of the barley estimate;
  • 20 per cent of the lupins estimate; and
  • 15 per cent of the wheat estimate.
  • At this stage, all sites are open except Latham and Marchagee, and they will open upon requests from growers. Growers are reporting well-above expected yields for all grains, especially barley and wheat.
  • We are working hard to balance the expected pressure on cycle times at larger sites to ensure that we maximise throughput as best we can.

Kwinana North Zone

  • Following good harvesting conditions for most of the week, the Kwinana North Zone has picked up this week with almost 515,000 tonnes received in total.
  • The majority of the sites are open across the zone with good cycle times.
  • The majority of the grain received so far is canola and barley, with only small amounts of oats, lupins and wheat.
  • Canola quality is very good and barley is also generally good, although some areas of the zone that were frost-affected have light-weight grain.

Kwinana South Zone

  • The Kwinana South zone has received over 165,000 tonnes for the season to date. The areas in the north of the Kwinana South zone have picked up this week with good harvesting conditions. The south off the zone is still a week or two away before they get into the full swing of things.
  • Most sites in the zone are now open, with the remainder to open within the next week. We anticipate that cycle times will further decrease over the next week as sites enter the full swing of harvest and all staff are brought onboard.
  • Most of the grain received so far is canola and barley with small amounts of oats, lupins and wheat.
  • Canola and barley quality is looking very good at this stage with yields slightly higher than initially expected.

Albany Zone

  • With most crops only just ready to harvest, the Albany Zone receivals have mainly been in the Lake Grace and Jerramungup areas with a total of 120,000 tonnes received.
  • All areas in the zone have sites which are open except for Area 16 which is planning to start opening sites this week.
  • Majority of the grain received is canola with some feed barley. There have been small tonnages of oats in the northern part of the zone. 
  • Canola quality has been good but only small tonnages received to date.

Esperance Zone

  • Harvest really took off last week in the Esperance Zone, taking the total for the zone to just over 440,000 tonnes.
  • All sites are now open with the community sample sheds to follow shortly.
  • Overall, harvest has been sporadic with a series of fronts, high wind and hail impacting deliveries. In pockets throughout the zone, yield has been affected by these weather events, mainly in canola. When the weather is favourable, growers are getting good tonnages through the sites.
  • Grain quality has been varied over the zone
    • Canola quality is generally good 
    • Barley yields are very good but the majority has been presenting as feed.
    • Wheat tonnages are still quite low with protein being variable so far.

Market Update

In WA, grower pricing activity has been focused predominantly on canola and barley with growers selling volumes straight off the header.

Canola prices in Kwinana continued to remain strong with values around the $1,000 per tonne free in store Kwinana for the majority of the week as the trade covered their early export positions.

Whilst the wheat harvest has been slow, it did begin to pick up towards the end of last week. International market interest continued with South East Asian flour millers looking for opportunities to cover their first quarter 2022 requirements. In addition, concern over heavy rainfall across the East Coast and some parts of South and Western Australia has the market guessing on the future milling wheat quality and also the availability of quality malting barley. This saw premiums for APW over ASW extend out to A$25-30 per tonne as the trade looked to cover their APW and AH requirements for the milling market. APW1 prices increase more than A$10 per tonne on the back of these concerns hitting A$390 per tonne FIS Kwinana. Feed buyers will wait and see what damage the rain causes and will likely remain out of the market until there is a clearer picture on the availability of feed wheat.

International feed barley markets remain sporadic with demand centered on Middle East and select South East Asian feed buyers. However, Australian barley is very competitive against alternative origins enticing buyers to be attracted to Australian origin when they are in the market. However feed barley prices have been in the range of A$300 – 305 per tonne FIS Kwinana, attracting some grower selling.

Shipping program
The Australian shipping program, as a result of strong demand, continues to be aggressively sold with a large part of the stem now committed out until February / March. This has surprised some international buyers whom have been caught short with limited opportunities in the first quarter of 2022. Bulk ocean freight rates have been very strong over the past 12 months however in the past few weeks these values have fallen by 10 per cent as the market sentiment for economic growth in China wanes.


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 again 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. 

To kick us off, Kirsty Fleay and Jerri Salmond are Geraldton staff who live and breathe grain quality at harvest. They work closely together to ensure that everyone understands and follows the correct processes to monitor the quality of the grain coming into our sites, from growers to senior managers.

Kirsty is the Senior Specialist - Quality for the Geraldton zone and works tirelessly to ensure that everything related to grain quality at the country sites is up to standard including sampler training, organising equipment in the sample sheds and providing support to growers and staff. Her knowledge in her role is an asset to the team.

"We would be lost without her! She is never too busy to assist samplers out on site and is always keeping an eye on how the quality is tracking for the entire zone. Her proactiveness saves everyone in operations lots of time," colleague Colette Newton said.

Jerri is a Plant Operator at the Geraldton terminal who, during harvest, supports the Geraldton zone quality staff, including Kirsty and Bart Trevenen, Coordinator- Terminal Quality. Jerri approaches every task with inexhaustible energy and brings positivity to those around her.

Combined with her extensive knowledge in the grain quality space and exceptional organisational skills, Jerri is an integral team member who everyone can rely on to take on extra responsibility when the pressure is on. 

It’s people like Jerri and Kirsty who make up our team of Harvest Heroes.

CBH Harvest Heroes
(Kirsty Fleay and Jerri Salmond)

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