Australia’s grain harvest passes 4m mt despite rain delays

8 Nov 2021 | Masha Belikova

The Australian grain harvest has already moved over 4 million mt, as two of the biggest companies involved in the country's market, CBH and Grain Corp, reported the volumes they have received on Monday.  

The biggest progress was reported for rapeseeds and barley harvests, while the wheat harvest is still going slowly amid rain delays.

CBH, the biggest grain exporter and co-operative in Australia, has received 2 million mt of grains so far, including 1.4 million mt in the week ending November 7.

Grain Corp, another one of the biggest Australian exporters and producers, has harvested 2.3 million mt so far in three states – Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Variable quality has been reported among the wheat harvest so dar, but trade sources  warned not to read too much into that as only small quantities have been harvested. 

The country has been awash with rains recently, which have raised concerns over the final quality of the wheat and barley production and traders warned it is something that can change quickly.

Currently, where the harvest is more advanced, more feed grades have been observed for barley, while the overall rapeseed - or canola - quality was reported at a good level.

"Grain quality is generally looking really good for canola and barley, although some zones that were frost-affected have light-weight grain,” the CBH report said.

“Concern over heavy rainfall across the east coast and some parts of south and western Australia has the market guessing on the future milling wheat quality and also the availability of quality malting barley,” it added.

With the harvest starting and some decent volumes starting to appear, traders have looked closely on the origination of grains amid high demand from Southeast Asian countries and heavily congested line ups that have pushed the local prices higher.

Amid relatively cheap prices, Australian grains have been competitive into Asia over the last few months, and therefore most of the Australian port capacity has been booked through to the February-March period, leaving some buyers “caught short,” according to the report, and likely to face a challenge securing enough supply.

Australia is expected to harvest another bumper crop, with current projections for wheat standing at 32.6 million mt, for barley at 12.5 million mt, and 5 million mt for rapeseeds, according to Abares.