WESTERN Australia is looking at a big year for grain exports, as WA grain growers’ co-operative CBH Group reports record grain volumes for the 2022-23 harvest.

The group set the record earlier in January when it surpassed last year’s record harvest of 21.3 million tonnes of grain.

CBH also said it had shipped a record 2.18 million tonnes of grain and railed 1 million tonnes in a single month in December 2022. This surpassed the previous shipping record of 1.89 million tonnes set in January 2017 by 15%.

The Port of Fremantle’s Kwinana Grain Terminal handles a significant share of the state’s annual grain exports.

“We’re predicting continual ship arrivals throughout the year, to get Western Australia’s crop of wheat, canola, lupins and barley away to overseas markets,” Fremantle Ports manager government and public relations Neil Stanbury said.

“Supporting that efficient cargo-handling, in co-operation with CBH Group, requires continual efficient provision of shore crews to tie up and let go ships, clear channel access, tugs and piloting services, and that will be a focus for us,” he said.

The Port of Fremantle received 123 grain ships over the past financial year, with 70 in the first six months of this financial year, indicating a likely bumper year of ship movements.

By volume, bulk grain exports in 2021-22 made up 56.4% of the Port of Fremantle’s Outer Harbour major exports, with the main destinations China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Yemen. 40,000 containers of grain were also exported from Fremantle last year, totalling 651,000 tonnes.

Of Fremantle’s top five bulk export commodities, wheat ranks first, with canola third and barley fourth.

“Our goal is to ensure outbound trade is handled quickly and efficiently and the supply chain optimised, so receival points for goods throughout the State can run at maximum efficiency, driving our state’s growth,” Mr Stanbury said.

Grain is also exported through the WA ports of Albany, Geraldton and Esperance.