Viterra Proposes Longer Term Port Access Agreements for South Australia Wheat Exporters
Grain handler, Viterra, which operates six wheat port facilities in South Australia inherited from what was originally South Australia Co-operative Bulk Handling, has applied to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for permission to offer its exporters long-term port access agreements of between two to five years.
Under the current system, exporters gain access to shipping capacity through an annual auction that grants them one year of terminal capacity on a first-come-first-served basis. The new system would offer greater flexibility to Viterra’s clients that are looking for long-term security and certainty of shipping capacity.
The ACCC is assessing the proposal, which ACCC Commissioner, Cristina Cifuentes states, “is likely to be of interest to exporters and other market participants in SA,” under the Port Terminal Access (Bulk Wheat) Code of Conduct, and is seeking industry views and comments on the impact that Viterra’s proposal is expected to have.
Under its new plan, Viterra will keep a minimum of 500,000 tons of short-term terminal capacity available per quarter across its six ports, which exporters would be able to bid for under the previous first-come-first-served allocation plan.
The ACCC has published a paper outlining Viterra’s proposed changes in allocation in order to gain insight from companies that will potentially be affected by the changes. The last day for comment or submission is April 24, 2015.