Glencore-owned grains handler Viterra has already booked nearly 4 million tonnes of shipping capacity every year until 2021.
Viterra released shipping capacity via long term agreements for the FY20 and FY21 seasons this month, resulting in a four-year schedule including commitments from nine different exporters.
Jonathan Wilson, the company’s general manager for logistics and commercial relations, said the benefits would be felt across the industry, by growers, exporters, end-use customers and service providers.
“The eagerness of exporters to book capacity within Viterra’s supply chain is great news, particularly for growers,” Wilson said. “This adds a level of certainty that we’ve never seen before in South Australia, as we’ve now been able to secure exporters through Long Term Agreements for the next four years.”
Wilson said there had been strong demand across the state, particularly from Port Lincoln, on the south-eastern tip of the Eyre Peninsula.
“These bookings should bring confidence to growers, knowing they will continue to have a competitive environment in which to sell their grain, with multiple buyers committed over the long term.”
In addition to long-term capacity, the company sets aside a further 2 million tonnes of short-term capacity which it makes available each year. FY18 capacity was released last week, resulting in 1.5 million tonnes of bookings, bringing the total bookings for the FY18 harvest to 5.5 million tonnes.
“The fact we have this much committed so early in the season is excellent news for growers, with the amount secured for the harvest months of October, November and December particularly pleasing across all our ports,” Wilson outlined.
“We continue to focus on providing a service that encourages exporters to South Australia and work closely with grower and export customers to understand and meet their needs.”
Viterra has export sites at Ardrossan, Port Giles, Port Lincoln, Thevenard, Wallaroo, and Port Adelaide’s Inner Harbour and Outer Harbour.