CBH operations update Oct 27
The graph shows receivals as at Oct. 25, compared to the receivals for October over the previous five seasons.
Graph courtesy of CBH.

WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA —The CBH Group’s 2017 season has been highly variable across the state.


Conditions have improved as a result of the favorable finish in most areas. However, there are still stark contrasts between parts of Western Australia.

The late rains and cool conditions also have delayed harvest across the state.

It’s been a slow start for the Albany Zone. 

The zone received its first load of the grain for the season on Oct. 17 at the Albany Terminal with 69 tonnes of canola. This was followed a week later with a delivery to Gairdner, which also received canola. 

Inclement weather has continued to delay harvest with progress expected to be slow over the next week. The quality of canola quality has so far been good, with oil averaging 46%. 

After an early delivery on Oct. 7, the Esperance Zone is finally starting to ramp up following untimely rain over the weekend. 

CBH said moisture has been an issue all week but some good fine conditions on Thursday has seen many growers start harvest for the year. 

To date, the majority of grain being received is canola, with a bit of barley and peas also in the system. 

“Most sites in the Esperance area are open and we are expecting to see the sites in the Lakes get going next week,” said Mick Daw, manager of the Esperance Zone. 

The Geraldton Zone has started harvest, but it is coming through slowly. According to CBH, moisture is still very high with some rain falling in the last 24 hours so that will slow progress down even further.

“We do start to see some better conditions over the weekend and into next week so hopefully that will add to our current receivals, which at present is about 10,000 tonnes, mainly made up of GM canola,” said Duncan Gray, manager of the Geraldton Port Zone. 

Currently the Geraldton Port, Mingenew and Carnamah sites are open, with other sites set to open as the season starts to take off.

The Kwinana Zone harvest started on Oct. 19 with a load of Can1 delivered to the Kellerberrin site.

The zone has received a total of 3,179 tonnes of canola and barley so far. The canola quality is good with oil averaging around 47%. The quality of the barley has been a mixed bag at this early stage receiving both malt and feed barley.

“It’s still pretty green at the moment, we might open a few sites next week but it will depend on the weather,” said Allan Walker, Kwinana Assistant Zone manager. “It’s likely harvest for the Kwinana Zone won’t get into full swing for another couple of weeks.” 

Effects from the dry weather conditions in Western Australia in the middle of the year are still having an impact on prices however reality seems to be creeping back in, CBH said.

The impact on production from a dry June and July prompted growers to adjust their expectations, which had a flow on effect with price rises for wheat and barley in particular. As a result, grower selling has been light coming into harvest but is increasing as harvest starts and growers become more comfortable with quantity and quality.

Local markets are adjusting and are becoming more globally competitive, CBH said.

CBH noted Russia is having another record grain harvest, with expectations that it could reach around 130 million tonnes, which Russian President Vladimir Putin said was achieved despite unfavorable weather conditions. Along with Ukraine, the Black Sea region will set the tone of prices however markets have already factored in this volume.

“Russia’s export rates will be scrutinized as the market will be keen to see if the country’s volumes of grain can be exported through the country’s port systems at the pace required,” CBH said.