Bulk handlers happy across the east coast

Bulk handlers happy across the east coast

Agribusiness
It was a great year for pulse crops in Victoria which helped boost bulk handlers' tonnages.

It was a great year for pulse crops in Victoria which helped boost bulk handlers' tonnages.

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It was not just GrainCorp that reaped the benefits of the monster east coast harvest, with other bulk handlers reporting massive receivals.

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THE EAST coast harvest has seen bulk handler GrainCorp set records at a number of sites, but it is not just the storage and handling giant that has had a good season.

A number of other bulk handling businesses have reported exceptional receivals into their networks through NSW and Victoria in particular.

David Johnson, Emerald Group chief executive, said the company had seen good support for its eight storage sites across Victoria and NSW.

"In particular, southern NSW was excellent, we had really good years at both Coolamon and The Rock," Mr Johnson said.

"Through Victoria, Elmore was also exceptional, however in the Mallee at Woorinen and Nullawil it was probably closer to an average than an above average season."

In central NSW, Roger Fletcher, Fletcher International Exports director, said it had been a good season for growers.

"We took a good amount of grain at Dubbo and with the market where it is we are able to find markets for it, the price is good and we're competitive on the export market so it is all going along OK," Mr Fletcher said.

He said logistically it had been relatively smooth, although access to containers, a problem for all industries during the COVID-19 pandemic which has reduced trade, remained an issue.

"Grain has been steadily going down along with our other commodities like meat to Port Botany," he said.

Cargill Australia spokesperson Peter McBride said it was impossible to give a year on year improvement across much of the company's GrainFlow network.

"We took very little grain in our Queensland, northern and central NSW sites last year, so the figures do not mean that much," Mr McBride said.

"Suffice to say, we had a really good year, especially through NSW where all the sites went well, with the Riverina having a really good year."

"South Australia was also very solid, with a 40 per cent increase in receivals across our four sites which are located right across the state."

In Victoria, Mr McBride said it was a good year once again, with comparable receivals to last year, with the Wimmera and North Central particularly strong.

Clayton Shannon, logistics manager at Shannon Brothers Storage, which operates sites in Victoria at Beulah, in the Mallee and Horsham, said it had been a strong season, particularly in the south.

"We took a lot of grain in Horsham, it was a very strong year across the board, but commodities like beans and lentils went very well," Mr Shannon said.

"Beulah was also really good, but probably the yields were closer to average than in the Horsham area where they were exceptional."

He said logistically things had gone smoothly.

"The sites managed to keep up to the trucks, which was good given the amount of grain there was about."

Mr Shannon said an investment in lighting meant operating hours could be lengthened which boosted daily receival levels.

"That all worked well, we're conscious of staying safe in terms of operating hours, but going a bit longer at the peak of harvest was good."

While most bulk handlers are currently more concerned with the outloading process harvest has not finished in all parts of the country.

Steve Broadbent, CHS Broadbent, said there was still a busy period ahead for the team at his company's Lakaput site in Victoria's Western District.

"There was heavy rain before Christmas and then cool and drizzly weather in the new year, it has meant there is still some to be done," Mr Broadbent said.

And he said the frustration was set to continue.

"It may be too hot to harvest over the weekend and then there is more rain forecast for next week."

He said there would still be a lot of grain delivered to Lakaput, although there could be potential downgrading, while the business' Moree site also did well.

Things were a little slower at Jondaryan on the Darling Downs where the winter crop was not as good.

The story Bulk handlers happy across the east coast first appeared on Farm Online.

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