AUSTRALIA—Leading Australian agribusiness and processing company GrainCorp is planning to build 2 million tonnes (Mt) of new storage capacity and upgrade the mobile fleet of equipment that services the extensive network in time for the 2022-23 harvest.

Following two upbeat winter-crop harvests, and anticipating another, the agribusiness plans to deliver a significant expansion and upgrade of its grains-receival network on the east coast of Australia (ECA).

The announcement is on top of the network expansion of 1.5Mt of additional storage built in 2021 to help manage the deliveries.

GrainCorp managing director and CEO Robert Spurway said the planning began with feedback from growers captured over recent harvests.

Ahead of GrainCorp’s annual general meeting on February 17, Mr. Spurway said the second consecutive bumper crop on the east coast and strong global demand for Australian grain were key positives.

He however called out the efficiency of its supply chain and resilience of the industry amid challenging issues, including COVID-19.

“Some sites require more storage capacity given the production volume in that area; other sites require upgrades to stackers and drive-over hoppers, to improve the delivery experience for growers,” he said.

The upgrade also builds on the company’s annual harvest readiness program in which it reviews its flex’ site capacity, segregation planning, maintenance and undertake on-site process changes.

The purpose of which is to improve the delivery experience for growers. This can be by increasing the number of drop-off points for growers or increasing the capacity at the grid.

“Growers are continuing to invest in their harvest capability and the speed at which they can get the crop off, so it’s important that we match this with our services.”

More than 14Mt of grain was delivered to the GrainCorp network last season in the second consecutive bumper ECA 2021-22 harvest. It expects to receive 16 to 17mmt in full-year 2022, compared to 16.5mmt last year and export 8.5 to 9.5mmt, up from 7.9mmt.

Similar upbeat forecast is seen across the region, with Western Australia’s CBH Group, Australia’s largest co-operative, reporting that growers had delivered a record 21.3 million tons – 50 per cent more than the five-year harvest average.

Royal Bank of Canada analysts last month upgraded their grain receival estimate to 16.6mt following completion of the key 2021-22 winter harvest window.

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