The first shipment of new season South Australian grain has begun its voyage from Viterra’s Port Lincoln terminal bound for China, kicking off the 6.3 million tonnes of shipping booked for grain delivered into the Viterra network.
Viterra General Manager Supply Chain, Derek Robjohns says the 66,000 tonnes barley vessel is also the first new season export of South Australian (SA) growers’ grain into China, following the recent removal of the tariff on Australian barley exports.
“It’s exciting to see the first new season barley vessel head to China. The removal of the tariff is great for Australian barley growers, particularly SA growers who produce high-quality malting barley preferred by maltsters and brewers in China,” Derek says.
“We look forward to supporting growers in maximising value for their barley through our supply chain to this important market.”
Derek says Viterra’s focus on connecting its grower customers with buyers and international markets provides growers more choice and competition when selling their grain.
“Our grower customers benefit from access to 45 buyers including 18 exporters with strong export demand across all our six SA ports,” Derek says.
“We are finishing loading another ship at Thevenard with 25,000 tonnes of wheat and will see vessels set sail from our other ports soon, with buyers and exporters ready to purchase new season grain from our network as local growers deliver.
"Viterra’s world-class ports, efficient and effective supply chain, quality focus and strong relationships with end use customers helps us find and maintain buyers and market access for SA growers’ grain.”
The southern Australian grain harvest has ramped up with growers' deliveries into the Viterra network surpassing the 2 million tonne milestone.
Viterra General Manager Operations, Gavin Cavanagh says it’s been one of the earliest starts to the season with growers harvesting two to four weeks ahead of a typical harvest.
“We’ve just had our biggest October ever, with growers delivering over 925,000 tonnes to our sites,” Gavin says.
Gavin says the company has been well prepared for the early harvest.
“We worked closely with our grower customers to understand what they were growing to ensure we were ready to provide a valuable service when they wanted to deliver,” Gavin says.
“Following our very successful recruitment programme for harvest workers we brought on team members early and provided extra training where required.
“We continued our annual investment in infrastructure and equipment to support more efficient turnaround times, investing over $60 million on capital expenditure and maintenance across our network for this harvest.
“It’s a credit to our employees for their efforts preparing our sites for harvest. Our team continue to be focused on moving deliveries safely through our network as efficiently as possible for our customers.
“We are maximising the efficiency of our supply chain so we can move grain through our network to end users in the first half of the year when our customers’ demand for Australian grain is at its highest.”