BUNGE WA has its eye on increasing its canola exports through its Bunbury port facility with international customers showing keen interest in Australian canola.
This week, 60,000 tonnes of feed barley was loaded at Bunbury and Albany onto the Peace Gem, a 225 metre container ship that is on its way to China.
Since its opening in 2014, Bunge has exported 450,000 tonnes of grain from its handling and storage facility at Bunbury port.-
The site can load 1000 tonnes per hour of grain, with the entire process taking about two days once the ship has passed customs and quarantine inspections.
This is compared to ports such as Kwinana and Kembla in NSW, which can load up to 5000 tonnes per hour.
Currently, the site has the ability to store about 50,000 tonnes, with six 7000 tonne silos and four smaller silos, although Bunge works closely with growers with on-farm storage to align deliveries with vessels.
Features of the site included an automated, self service weighing and delivery site scheme to cut down on delivery times and paperwork.
The site also had a fully enclosed conveyor system to reduce the risk of exposure to fumigation chemicals and pests entering the silos.
Bunge WA regional manager Christopher Tyson said while wheat and barley were the predominant grains delivered and exported from the site, the company was keen to increase its footprint in canola.
"We have a number of customers across the globe that are interested in Australian canola as a viable choice for their crush facilities," Mr Tyson said.
"Bunge hopes to increase our acquisition of canola as we see this as the next exciting phase of our evolution in the WA market."-
Bunge sources its grain from the northern areas of the Albany zone and the southern Kwinana zone area.
Mr Tyson said the Bunbury facility had exceeded expectations in terms of size and efficiency.
He said while there were no plans to expand the site in the near future, the company was investing in other facilities in southern WA.
"Bunge's focus is on maximising throughput at our recently completed upcountry sites at Kukerin and Arthur River, which provide an alternative route to the export market for the WA grower," he said.
"Our upcountry facilities assist in growing our footprint in the local market to satisfy the demand for WA wheat in the international market."
Bunge has had a wavering history in Australia.
It was established in 1923, increasing its assets in Australia until 1990 when the company sold all assets due to the heavily regulated wheat market.
Following the deregulation of the Australian Wheat Board in 2007, Bunge re-invested in Australia, with the Bunbury facility, new bunker sites and focus on expansion in the grain supply chain.