Record grain shipment from WA

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian

CBH is taking advantage of historic low rates in the sea freight market to load WA's biggest ever grain shipment.

The MV Anangel Zenith is taking on 90,000 tonnes of canola worth more than $60 million as CBH tests the boundaries of its port infrastructure at Kwinana.

The giant co-operative is also setting sail with its new fertiliser business.

One of its chartered vessels is discharging wheat in Vietnam and will continue to Beihai in southern China to load fertiliser.

CBH's first phosphate shipment will be discharged at Geraldton and the Kwinana bulk berth under a storage and handling arrangement with Qube.

The record-breaking shipment of non-GM canola is bound for Rotterdam and continues the trend towards using bigger ships.

CBH chartering and shipping manager Ben Geneve said mini cape-sized vessels like the Anangel Zenith were typically used to carry iron ore and coal.

"This ship is bigger than any other ever handled at the Kwinana port terminal, " he said.

"We are testing our ports to see what is the biggest ship we can get alongside so when opportunities arise we can take them.

"This is a slowly, slowly approach. The last thing we want to do is bring a ship in and have to turn it around just to trim off (evenly load the grain)."

The Anangel Zenith had just come out of dry dock where it was cleaned.

Its owner has an outstanding record in presenting CBH with vessels in tip-top shape for grain export.

A massive oversupply of tonnage in the dry bulk market has allowed CBH to chase freight savings and supply chain efficiencies by chartering bigger vessels. However, the plunge in sea freight markets has eroded WA's geographical advantage in supplying Asian markets.

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