ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Viterra announced on Aug. 23 that the record for annual grain ports shipped through South Australia's ports has been broken, with almost 7 million tonnes of grain exported from the state on behalf of 14 exporters since Oct.1, 2010.

From Oct. 1 to July 31, 2011, 6.84 million tonnes has been exported. The previous highest amount for the Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 period was 6.69 million tonnes in 2001-02.

Mayo Schmidt, Viterra's chief executive officer said the company's strong leadership team in Australia had strengthened operational performance in the region.

"The record shipping result is a positive reflection on Viterra's local management expertise. The efficient operation of Viterra's ports has ensured a highly competitive marketplace for South Australian grain and Viterra is committed to opening up new markets for Australian growers.

"We're expanding our international presence into South East Asia and recently opened a new marketing office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to further support the development of new markets and complement our existing international network," he said.

Rob Gordon, Viterra's president South East Asia, said the record shipments had enabled Viterra to clear stocks from sites so the company was ready to receive another large harvest.

"We are consolidating our carry-in grain into fewer sites to maximize the capacity of the bigger sites and create as many delivery options for growers as possible," he said.

Gordon said the company expected solid shipping to continue through August and September in the lead up to the 2011-12 harvest.

"With the strong shipping to continue, we estimate the carry-in stocks across the State will be less than two million tonnes, which, considering last year's record harvest, is a great situation for growers," he said. "Our harvest preparations are well underway and we look forward to working together with growers to ensure they can deliver their grain in a timely and efficient way.

"Since entering Australia, Viterra has invested more than A$40 million in storage, transport, logistics, people and port terminal infrastructure for the benefit of Australian growers, marketers and international customers."