BAAR, SWITZERLAND — Glencore Plc reported on Nov. 4 that its total agriculture production increased 3% to 8.5 million tonnes year to date.

The company is considering the sell down of its agricultural unit in an attempt to reduce its $30 billion debt.  Glencore said the sales process has commenced for the minority stake in the Agricultural unit as well as its Lomas Bayas and Cobar copper operations. The company has hired Citigroup Inc. and Credit Suisse Group AG to sell the minority stake, a deal that could value the whole division at as much as $12 billion

Glencore said its debt reduction plan has worked faster than anticipated.
“We are pleased to report significant progress on the delivery of such measures, which seek to reduce net debt to the low $20s billion by the end of 2016,” the company said.

 Glencore reiterated its 2015 full year marketing adjusted EBIT guidance of $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion.

 “Marketing was stronger over the quarter, with improved contributions from metals and minerals and agricultural products,” the company said.

In the Agricultural unit, oilseed crush volumes of 4.4 million tonnes increased by 249,000 tonnes, reflecting acquisition of the Magdeburg plant in Germany and higher processing at Timbues in Argentina.

Soybean crush margins in Argentina have benefited from the large crop. Ukrainian margins were weaker as newly installed crushing capacity led to increased competition for seed.

Currency devaluation and economic slowdown adversely impacted wheat milling in Brazil, Glencore said. Wheat milling produced 740,000 tonnes, down 5% from 782,000 tonnes

Rice milling also experienced a decrease in production of 13% to 174,000 tonnes.

Biodiesel processing was 412,000 tonnes, down 25% compared to the prior year period, reflecting reduced demand due to both regulatory changes and lower competing diesel prices.