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WA Harvest Report - Thunderstorms slow down Harvest


Following an increase in the pace of harvest deliveries towards the end of last week, receivals have since slowed down at many receival sites as a result of widespread rainfall.

Despite this, more than 881,900 tonnes were received over the past seven days, taking total harvest deliveries to 1.9 million tonnes.

Chief Operations Officer Ben Macnamara said isolated thunderstorms over parts of the grainbelt overnight would cause further interruptions.

"Wet weather has been creating challenging conditions for growers, many of whom were just starting to ramp up their harvest programs," Mr Macnamara said.

"Last year we experienced a relatively dry, uninterrupted harvest which allowed us to receive the Western Australian crop in a short amount of time. This year, we've already seen two rain events halt activity.

"With more rain forecast early next week, further interruptions are likely which will continue to impact the pace of harvest deliveries."

Mr Macnamara said CBH was closely monitoring the impact of the wet conditions to ensure the appropriate services would be available to affected growers.

"We're keeping a close eye on receivals and liaising with growers to understand how these wet conditions have impacted their crops to ensure we can offer the most suitable services," he said.

* Tonnes stated are accurate as of Friday morning, 6 November.

Zone Summary

Geraldton Zone

  • The Geraldton Zone has been heavily affected by last weekend's rainfall, with few receivals since then.
  • About 207,600 tonnes delivered over the past seven days, taking totals to 534,000 tonnes.
  • Canola and barley are making up the bulk of receivals.
  • Some quality issues are appearing as a result of high screenings in areas that had minimal rainfall during the growing season.
  • Harvest rainfall may bring some quality into question, but it is too early to tell at this stage.
  • Wet conditions forecast over the next week will continue to hamper the speed of deliveries.

Kwinana North Zone

  • The Kwinana North Zone received 225,000 tonnes this week, taking total deliveries to 626,000 tonnes.
  • Widespread rain, ranging from 10 millimetres to 40mm, fell across the zone on Monday and Tuesday, pausing harvest activity. Some growers started delivering again later this week.
  • Barley is making up the majority of receivals.
  • Majority of barley receivals have graded as feed due to high screenings. The small amount of wheat received has seen mixed quality results.
  • Most sites should be open early next week.
  • Overnight thunderstorm activity in some parts of the zone, and predicted rainfall over coming days will continue to slow down deliveries.

Kwinana South Zone

  • Widespread rain across the zone over the weekend slowed receivals significantly earlier in the week, however they have since picked up.
  • To date 292,000 tonnes have been received, of which 144,500 tonnes were delivered in the past week.
  • Large majority of receivals have been barley.
  • Overall, we have seen good turn-around times at all sites, which are expected to further improve as sites complete harvest casual onboarding and harvest ramps-up in the next two weeks.
  • 17 of the 26 Kwinana South sites open for receivals. Remaining sites will likely open in the next two weeks.

Albany Zone

  • Rain throughout the zone stopped harvest early in the week, with growers returning to harvest operations over the past couple of days.
  • The zone has received 140,000 tonnes so far this harvest, with 88,500 tonnes delivered over the past week.
  • There are some high screenings in malting barley varieties, which has pushed deliveries into feed segregations.
  • The bulk of receivals have been barley, with some canola and a small amount of oats and wheat.

Esperance Zone

  • Rain across the zone on Monday significantly slowed deliveries after a run of high receivals in the days prior.
  • To date, 404,000 tonnes received, of which 216,300 were delivered in the past week.
  • All sites in the zone are now open and have been receiving good tonnages, made up of predominately barley and canola. Some wheat is starting to be delivered, but not in large amounts.
  • Many sites were open over the weekend with minimal employees, given several of our casual staff were were not yet available. On-site employees received great support and understanding from growers and drivers.
  • Weather may impact deliveries again next week.


Market Update


 Australian wheat prices softened during the week by approximately A$15 per tonne, with grower prices finishing the week close to A$335 per tonne free in store (FIS) Kwinana. There remains some interest from international markets as southeast Asia looks to cover its 2021 first-quarter requirements. Australian wheat is calculating well into south east Asia and is looking to displace a significant proportion of Black Sea wheat, particularly in the first half of 2021. Concerns over demand from Australia’s largest milling market, Indonesia, is likely to see Indonesian flour millers purchase hand-to-mouth during 2021, as they seek to understand the impact of the recession on demand.


 The feed barley market continues its rollercoaster ride, with values trading in the range of A$265-275 per tonne FIS Kwinana. The uncertainty on the timing of the next Saudi Arabia tender combined with expectations of a larger crop throughout Australia has the market watching closer for the next available demand. While active, grower selling has been potentially lighter than previous weeks as growers hold onto barley and look to sell other commodities with higher potential value.


 The canola market showed stronger signs this week as buyers looked to cover immediate requirements and some international interest began to appear for nearby business. Prices for non-GM canola were up A$20 per tonne to A$645 per tonne FIS Kwinana following this strong interest.

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