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Grain in strong demand with 1.8 million tonnes headed for export

15 December 2020

Viterra’s Port Lincoln terminal loading a vessel as part of 1.8 million tonnes of grain set to be outturned this shipping season.

A huge 1.8 million tonnes of South Australian grain is set to be outturned from Viterra’s network by end of January next year to hit the export market, signifying a busy shipping season ahead.

Viterra Chief Operations Officer James Murray says grain is once again moving out of Viterra’s network at pace.

“We have strong demand from our system with 25 different buyers that have already purchased new season grain, many of who are purchasing directly from growers. This includes 11 exporters with bookings over the season sending barley, wheat, canola and pulses to multiple international destinations,” James says.

“It is very positive to see grain from our state in such strong demand from the export market. The number of active buyers and exporters we have in our system stands growers in good stead with the benefit of having greater options when they choose to sell their grain.”

All six of Viterra’s export terminals across the state are busy loading vessels. From the start of the shipping season in October through to end of January, more than 680,000 tonnes is due to be loaded at Inner Harbour and Outer Harbor, more than 600,000 tonnes at Port Lincoln, around 120,000 tonnes at Thevenard, and more than 400,000 tonnes between Port Giles and Wallaroo.

“Buyers have confidence in sourcing grain through our supply chain because of our flexible and efficient operations paired with our food safety and quality management standards which are the highest of any grain supply chain in Australia.”

Growers have had the option to deliver directly into port with the local grower delivery line open at Viterra’s port terminals for specific commodities based on shipping demand.

“We continue to invest in our port terminal infrastructure which support high volumes of grain being moved and loaded onto vessels quickly and efficiently,” James says.

The latest investment being a more than $5 million upgrade at Port Giles ahead of this harvest and more than $6 million at Port Lincoln over the past two years.

Grain last season also moved quickly out of the system albeit headed to the domestic market. The recovery of many areas from consecutive years of dry conditions has meant the market has returned to a predominantly export focused market.

“It’s a credit to our employees who have managed changes in our supply chain while continuing to receive grower deliveries and outturn grain smoothly and safely,” James says.

“We will continue to work closely with our customers this season to ensure we are managing harvest receivals while outturning to get grain to the right place at the right time. While there will be domestic movements, we are getting back into the swing of sending a significant amount of grain out through our port terminals.”

Viterra’s Port Lincoln terminal loading a vessel as part of 1.8 million tonnes of grain set to be outturned this shipping season.