November 19, 2008


West Australian grain harvest reaches 1.8M tonnes


Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd. late Tuesday (November, 18) reported it has received 1.8 million metric tonnes of winter grains from a harvest now gathering pace in Western Australia.


CBH, which owns the state's grain storage and export network, expects to receive between 10 million and 12 million tonnes of winter grains this season, well above the 2007 harvest of 8.5 million tonnes, but down on a record of 14.7 million tonnes in 2003, about 70 percent of which usually is wheat and 20 percent barley.


A dry August and the impact of recent frost has seen the likely tonnage sit just above the state's harvested average of 10 million tonnes, the company reported in its first harvest report for the new crop.


CBH does not own the grain it receives for storage and export. Rather, growers warehouse it in the system as they decide where and when to sell it or assign it to a collective sales pool manager. Nearly all the grain produced in the state is exported.


Most of the grain received, or 1.1 million tonnes, is in the company's northern Geraldton zone, with this intake already double the zone's total receivals last year, which was reduced by drought.


The harvest in this and other zones has been delayed by rain, CBH said.


Typically, the harvest cascades south as the year progresses, finishing around year end near the south coast.

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