BAAR, SWITZERLAND — Glencore Plc announced on Nov. 3 that its total agriculture production for the first nine months of 2016 was 10.74 million tonnes, up 26% from 8.54 million tonnes in the same period of last year.
The strong increase in Glencore’s agriculture production was attributed to its crushing segment, primarily reflecting the late 2015 and early 2016 acquisitions of the Becancour plant in Canada and the Warden plant in the U.S., the company said. The crushing segment increased 20% to 5.34 million tonnes, up from 4.44 million tonnes in the same period of last year.
The wheat milling segment produced 742,000 tonnes, up slightly from 740,000 tonnes in the same period of last year.
The rice milling segment increased 31% to 228,000 tonnes, up from 174,000 tonnes in the same period in 2015.
Glencore Plc is currently working on a debt reduction program that it previously announced in September 2015. The plan was to reduce the company’s $30 billion debt by $10 billion by selling down its agricultural segment. In December 2015, the company said it already had reduced debt by $8.7 billion. The company has revised its net debt reduction target again to between $16.5 billion to $17.5 billion by the end of 2016.
In June, Glencore announced it had entered into a definitive agreement with British Columbia Investment Management Corporation for the purchase of a 9.99% stake in Glencore Agricultural Products. Another agreement was announced in April to sell a 40% stake of the company’s agriculture segment to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board — it is expected to close in the second half of 2016.