ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA — Viterra is entering the 2011-12 harvest having set new records for the amount of grain exported from its South Australian ports, the company said on Nov. 2.

Almost 8 million tonnes of grain was shipped from South Australia between Oct. 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2011.

Dean McQueen, executive manager grain, said Viterra was one of 15 grain marketers to export during this period, with shipping remaining consistently strong throughout the year.

“This is a great result and shows the competitiveness and strong demand for South Australian grain,” he said. “Viterra’s Adelaide ports – Port Adelaide and Outer Harbor – have shipped nearly 3 million tonnes combined.

“Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula has been the single busiest port, with 2.65 million tonnes of grain shipped. The previous highest amount of grain shipped from Port Lincoln in this same period was in 2001-02, when 2.06 million tonnes was exported.”

Shipping at Thevenard, Port Giles and Wallaroo has also been strong, with 479,000 tonnes, 972,000 tonnes and 982,000 tonnes exported respectively.

McQueen said the record shipping highlighted Viterra’s commitment to clearing as much grain from its storage and handling network as possible in preparation for harvest.

“We expect widespread harvesting to begin shortly, with above average yields expected,” he said. “There is about 1.7 million tonnes of carry-over grain in the system, which is a great result and ensures we will be able to effectively service growers this harvest.”

In preparation for harvest, Viterra has invested more than A$12 million in infrastructure, road works, new equipment and amenities, as part of its commitment to implement the recommendations from the post-harvest review.