Friday 20th Sep, 2019

GrainCorp forecasts $70m loss

A GrainCorp shed at the Port of Portland. Photo: David Sexton
Photo: David Sexton

GrainCorp has downgraded its full-year financial forecast, saying on August 2 it expects to report an underlying net loss after tax in the range of $70-$90 million.

The east coast grain handling and marketing giant, whose financial year runs to September 30, said it expects its underlying EBITDA for FY19 to slip to $65-$85 million, driving the substantial underlying loss after tax.

The worsened forecast is the result of a growing negative EBITDA impact from the ongoing disruption of international grain trade flows and Australian wheat markets, GrainCorp said.

That factor, which was thought to cost $40 million in an April forecast, has now been escalated to a cost of between $60 million and $70 million of negative EBITDA.

“While the Company has substantially executed its old crop position, new crop trading opportunities in Q4 are no longer expected to materialise due to reluctance from international market participants to consider new season contracts,” the company said.

Federal analysis from ABARES reported the winter crop production forecast for FY20 at just 14.4 million tonnes, 22 per cent below the ten-year average to 2018/19.

GrainCorp recently unveiled an insurance scheme which will protect it from low volume years while limiting rewards from big crops – in essence smoothing out its annual results curve. But that scheme only begins from FY20.

GrainCorp shares dropped 7 per cent when markets opened on Friday morning, after the new forecast was announced.

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