Viterra delivers South Australia’s largest canola export programme on record

A record-breaking canola crop in South Australia this season, has resulted in growers delivering around 480,000 tonnes of the oilseed to Viterra sites, as the company undertakes the state’s largest export task of the commodity.

The record shipping programme will see around $500 million worth of canola from the 2021/22 harvest head out of Viterra’s port terminals to overseas markets for oil and meal production.

Viterra Senior Oilseeds Trader Andrew Freebairn says the large crop and subsequent shipping schedule follows increased plantings and optimal growing conditions across the state.

“After a very positive season, growers have been met with strong and consistent demand for their canola,” Andrew says.

“Record high pricing kicked in prior to new season canola being delivered, flagging the international demand for the oilseed.”

Australian canola is highly sought after, particularly in Europe which is where a large portion of sustainably grown canola is exported to.

Andrew says the escalated demand has mostly been from these traditional European markets following changes in trade flows due to factors such as drought conditions in Canada, COVID-19 and the situation in Ukraine.

“We have also tapped into a new market and sent a bulk vessel to New Zealand for the first time,” Andrew says.

The vessel unloaded at three different port terminals and demonstrates Viterra’s ability to adapt and provide a flexible service tailored to the needs of its customers.

“Viterra is very well positioned to manage the demand and continuing to satisfy the needs of end use countries and markets,” Andrew says.

More than 340,000 tonnes has already loaded onto vessels across Viterra’s port terminals, which includes the first vessels with genetically modified (GM) canola.

Viterra Chief Operations Officer James Murray says GM canola has recently been loaded onto two separate vessels at Viterra’s Adelaide port terminals.

“Viterra manages the GM and non-GM supply chains separately through its food safety and quality management processes, which are in line with the company’s ISO 22000:2018 certification; the highest food safety and quality certification of any grain supply chain in Australia,” James says.

“Our stringent processes also help Viterra to meet the varying requirements of end use customers and countries, which assists growers to consistently access these markets.”

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Photos show a vessel which Viterra recently loaded with canola.