SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Powered by a record crush volume in its Processing business, GrainCorp collected EBITDA of A$565 million in earnings for fiscal year 2023, the Australian company’s second-best annual performance coming off a record-setting 2022 of A$703 million.

In its annual report released Nov. 16 for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, GrainCorp said net profits after taxes were A$250 million with the company handling 37.4 million tonnes of grain, down from 41.1 million tonnes amid Australia’s third straight bumper crop. GrainCorp exported 8.3 million tonnes of grain and crushed 496,000 tonnes of oilseeds, up from 471,000 tonnes in 2022.

“With continued demand for Australian grain and a resilient, efficient supply chain, GrainCorp’s business segments, Agribusiness and Processing, performed strongly in FY23, with the Processing business achieving a record result,” said Robert Spurway, managing director and chief executive officer of GrainCorp. “Our disciplined focus on operational performance allowed us to capitalize on another bumper harvest, with over 37 million tonnes of total grain handled. In addition, despite some expected softening in the second half of the year, margins for FY23 remained well above historical averages.”

Agribusiness registered EBITDA of A$401 million compared to A$624 million in fiscal 2022, with strong performances across East Coast Australia (ECA), International and Feeds, Fats and Oils (FFO). Although volumes and margins were below the record levels seen last year, both remained well above historical averages in fiscal 2023, GrainCorp noted.

The key commodities and products handled and traded by the company’s Agribusiness segment include wheat, coarse grains (including barley, sorghum and corn), oilseeds, pulses, organics, animal fats, used cooking oils and vegetable oils for animal feed purposes.

Processing compiled a record EBITDA of A$153 million, up from A$127 million in fiscal 2022. The Oilseeds business delivered a significant increase in earnings. Crush facilities in Numurkah, Victoria, and Pinjarra, Western Australia, achieved record production volumes with 496,000 tonnes of output in fiscal 2023, up 5% year-on-year. Favorable crush margins were driven by a large ECA canola crop and high global demand for vegetable oils.

GrainCorp saw elevated global demand for Australian grain and oilseeds, particularly from Asian customers, influenced by Northern Hemisphere supply issues and disruptions in the Black Sea arising from the Ukraine conflict. In this environment, GrainCorp delivered its second largest export year of the past decade.

“Prior to the ECA winter harvest, we improved our in-loading and out-loading capabilities through investment in our mobile equipment, including stackers and drive-over grids, and added new storage to key sites in the ECA up-country network,” Spurway said. “It was encouraging to see an immediate payback from those initiatives, including reduced truck turnaround times at site and a significant uplift in our net promoter score.”

This month, GrainCorp also entered into an agreement to acquire XF Australia, a provider of feed supplement products and nutritional consulting services to Australia’s feedlot and grazing sector. This acquisition is consistent with the company’s targeted growth strategy and strengthens customer offerings in the animal nutrition sector.

Looking ahead, GrainCorp is expecting strong yields in key growing regions in southern New South Wales and Victoria even as the drier weather pattern of El Niño takes hold with harvest for the 2023-24 crop is well underway.

GrainCorp has the largest regional accumulation, storage and handling network on the east coast of Australia. The company operates seven ports and more than 160 receival sites with a combined storage capacity of more than 20 million tonnes and oilseed crush capacity over 500,000 tonnes. The company manages a wide range of grains, pulses and oilseeds and produces edible oils, biofuel components and animal feeds, as well as oils and shortenings for the food production industry.

On the east coast, supply in fiscal 2024 will be boosted by a high level of carry-out from 2023 (3.9 million tonnes). Following structural improvements, GrainCorp said its network is well equipped to continue providing growers with a reliable and flexible service.

In Processing, the company expects continued growth in underlying demand for its oilseeds business, with crushing to operate at near capacity once again. Oilseed crush margins are expected to remain favorable, and crushing facilities will continue high utilization while driving advanced analytics efficiencies to maximize opportunity. 

“We remain extremely confident in the long-term fundamentals of the demand underpinning our products and services, such as population growth and evolving consumer preferences,” Spurway said. “We are well positioned to capitalize on this demand through our supply chain capabilities, connecting upstream growers with domestic and international customers.”