Company's joint ventures, investments help expand global footprint.
BOCA RATON, FLORIDA, U.S. — Filling gaps in the company’s network is one of the key areas of focus within the grains business at Bunge, Soren Schroder, chief executive officer of the White Plains, New York, U.S.-based company, told participants during a Feb. 21 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York Conference in Boca Raton.

To help fill the grains gap in western Canada, which Schroder identified as one of Bunge’s “last gaps on the map,” the company recently created a joint venture with the Saudi Agricultural Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC). As part of their joint venture, Bunge and SALIC invested in the Canadian Wheat Board and established G3, a Canadian export oriented grain company.

Soren Schroder, chief executive officer.

“The vision is to create a highly efficient, coast to coast Canadian grain operation that will include a state-of-the-art grain export terminal in Vancouver as well as a network of high-speed, very efficient elevators to feed the terminal, plus the Bunge legacy assets on the east coast of Canada,” Schroder said. “Bunge’s share of the joint venture is 25%, and we will be the primary off-taker of all the export flows.”

Bunge filled another gap last summer when it partnered with Amaggi, a leading Brazilian farming and agribusiness company, to share an export terminal in Barcarena, Bunge’s most northern port in Brazil. Together, the companies share the terminal, the barge line and the transshipment station in Miritituba.

“Jointly we will be able to get the facility to full capacity a lot earlier than if we had done it by ourselves,” Schroder said. “And the partnership positions us very well to expand in a capital efficient way when that time comes. The flow of soybeans out of this port complex will also be an important source of supply for the new plants in northern Europe.”

Bunge also recently completed its first full year of operations in its newly expanded port facility in Nikolayev, Ukraine, which is also home to a new co-located multi-seed crushing plant, which came on stream in October 2016.

“This deepwater port is ideally positioned to capture export flows of corn, wheat, and oilseeds in a country that has about one-third of the world’s black soil and over 40 million hectares of arable land,” Schroder explained. “The port complex is logistically advantaged to supply Europe, Middle East and North Africa.

“These are some of the examples of how we continue to perfect and improve our footprint, some in partnerships, and all of them in a capital smart way.”