THE CBH Group has broken three shipping records so far this year, highlighting its commitment to clearing the record harvest from the storage and handling network.
CBH has established a new record for the volume of grain loaded and shipped during the month of January, and recorded its largest ever grain cargo from the Geraldton port terminal.
In addition, Grain Pool and AgraCorp recorded their largest ever volume of grain exported within a month.
In total, CBH shipped 1,330,881 tonnes of grain from its four export terminals in Albany, Geraldton, Esperance and Kwinana during January 2004.
The previous best for the month of January was 1,276,603t, which was achieved in 1999.
This shipping record was quickly followed with the loading of 41,800t of wheat on the MV Oriental on February 5, which is the largest cargo ever to leave the CBH Geraldton port terminal.
The previous largest cargo at Geraldton was a 39,166t shipment completed during December 1999.
The January cargoes from Grain Pool and AgraCorp, which comprised barley, lupins, canola, field peas and oats, totalled 574,379t.
The previous monthly export high of 459,447t of Grain Pool and AgraCorp grain was recorded in 1998.
CBH general manger operations Colin Tutt said it had been an excellent shipping month which had eased the port congestion following the record harvest.
"This level of shipping activity is really good news for us as it is important to clear storages of this season's grain quickly, to prepare the network for next harvest," Mr Tutt said.
"If we experience favourable growing conditions during the coming season, and with an overall trend of increasing yields, we could be looking at another sizeable harvest."
Grain Pool general manager Andy Crane said that closer working relations between Grain Pool marketing, shipping and chartering staff and CBH logistics staff had been pivotal in achieving this milestone.
"In December 2003 and January 2004 we have exported a total of almost 1mt of grain," Dr Crane said.
"This level of shipping is part of a plan to market grain earlier this year in order to save on storage costs and ensure grain is cleared before next harvest.
"In excess of 70 per cent of cargoes during December and January were chartered by Grain Pool and AgraCorp. This ensures maximum control over the supply chain and generates additional value on behalf of WA growers."