GLENCORE Agriculture has loaded its first grain train for the season, heading from South Australia to drought-stricken northern NSW.
The 2800 tonne consignment of feed barley will head from the depot of Glencore’s SA grain handling subsidiary Viterra north to Moree via Gladstone, SA, and Broken Hill on the intercontinental train line that runs from Crystal Brook to Broken Hill then to Narrabri and Moree.
Glencore Agriculture grain merchant David Wood said more grain is expected to be headed in the same direction amid continuing poor seasonal conditions.
He said the season presented a unique set of challenges given the scale of the east coast drought would mean massive demand for SA grain through northern NSW and Queensland in particular.
“Managing the logistics of grain domestically is a key focus this harvest,” Mr Wood said.
“It is important that we are getting grain to the right place at the right time, safely and efficiently.”
This in turn has created an atypical pricing pattern in South Australia, where prices are usually quoted on a port basis, then upcountry quotes calculated taking away the freight to port.
Viterra group operations manager Michael Hill said markets were reflecting the current demand pattern.
“The strong domestic requirement from the east coast means that pricing through the network is not typical of traditional port based pricing less the cost of freight to port.
“Growers are strongly encouraged to look at individual site based pricing at sites strategically located for domestic movements to take advantage of potential higher prices.”
Mr Wood said rail would be just one of the modes of transport used to match grain with demand.
“Rail, road, and coastal vessels are being used to move grain across and around the country.”