GALLERY: Port firing on back of top grain harvest

More than three million tonnes of grain were exported from the Port Kembla terminal last shipping year thanks to a bumper season and strong international demand.

The figure was up almost one million tonnes on the previous year and was a marked improvement on 2007-08 when the effects of the drought meant no grain was exported.

"We've seen a really good year," a GrainCorp spokesman said.

"There's plenty of grain in the system.

"The real positive is, we've had a busy period of exports ... [and] we're likely to see that continue."

Grain terminal exports from Port Kembla

Australian grain - which includes wheat, barley and canola - is highly sought after by international flour millers, feedlots and grain producers.

A growth in population in Asia and other regions has also increased demand, while quality has improved after the previous two crops were affected by wet weather.

"It's really good, bright-coloured grain. That's why it's been particularly sought after," the spokesman said.

Port Kembla grain terminal acting manager Brendan Moss has seen a huge increase in output levels.

"If the farmers don't get a crop, we don't export anything," Mr Moss said. "We've gone from not exporting anything to ... at the moment we're forecasting about 260,000 tonnes [for this month]."

Yesterday, 60,000 tonnes of canola was loaded onto a ship bound for Europe.

"We're doing a lot more canola at the moment because of the [good] prices," Mr Moss said.

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