Mercury Commodities has been Glencore Agriculture’s soybean supplier for the last 18 months.
THAME, U.K. — In a process of continued expansion Glencore Agriculture U.K. has completed the full asset acquisition of Mercury Commodities, a U.K.-based animal feed product supplier.

Mercury Commodities has been Glencore Agriculture’s soybean supplier for the last 18 months. The new transaction added an international deep-water terminal and storage facilities on the Isle of Portland around Dorest, England.

Glencore James Maw
James Maw, Glencore Agriculture U.K.’s managing director.

James Maw, Glencore Agriculture U.K.’s managing director, noted that the new acquisition means the company now offers a full range of animal feed ingredients.

“Glencore Agriculture is unique in being able to offer customers full traceability and secure supply chain management on a global business scale,” Maw said. “We offer the security dealing with a well-established and financially secure international business, while also offering reliable local contacts and unrivaled experience of the animal feed product industry within the expanding U.K. operation.”

With the first wholly owned portside facilities for Glencore Agriculture U.K., the Portland site will give the company a new platform for the import of animal feeds from Glencore Agriculture’s global crop processing facilities.

“We are looking to further invest and extend the site’s capacity and capability alongside working with expanding the import arrangements at Teesport and other ports – to fulfill the major livestock areas of the U.K. and supply an increasing nationwide customer base,” Maw said.

He added that the existing 50,000 tonnes of modern storage and handling facilities at Portland also offered a highly responsive export route for arable farmers in southern England, to take advantage of any trade opportunities for milling wheat or spring barley.

Glencore said existing Mercury Commodities trading arrangements will continue until later this month, when all new business contracts and operations will switch to the Glencore Agriculture U.K. umbrella. Mercury Commodities’ directors Frank Nickel and Will Wat will become head of Animal Feed Products and head of Feed Product Marketing for Glencore Agriculture U.K., respectively.

“We are incredibly excited to become part of the Glencore Agriculture business,” Nickel said. “It gives us the expanded product portfolio and the financial backing to grow the feed business and to enhance the service for our customers.”

Maw noted that, at the same time as integrating the employees of Mercury Commodities, Glencore Agriculture U.K. is expanding, taking on additional traders to service the growing grain and feed product business.

“This represents the next phase in the development of Glencore Agriculture U.K.’s commitment to the entire farming sector,” Maw said. “With uncertainty over the future of export opportunities and international markets, we can seek to connect and enhance domestic consumption for arable grain, oilseeds and protein crops, supplying a productive and viable livestock sector. The move will secure and fulfill U.K. demand, as well as to exploit any export opportunity to improve returns to U.K. farmers.”

In October 2016, Glencore Grain, a subsidiary of Glencore, announced the launch of an animal feed products marketing business in the U.K. The business will provide feed compounders and manufacturers with direct access to the company’s global resource of raw materials.

Glencore Grain has been trading since 1969 and has 180,000 employees at more than 150 locations. In 2014, the company had a turnover of $224 billion and total assets of $152 billion.

In September 2015, Glencore Plc announced it was seeking investors in its agriculture unit as part of a plan to reduce its $30 billion debt by $10 billion. In December 2015, the company said it already had reduced debt by $8.7 billion and had revised its debt reduction target to $13 billion.

Glencore Plc announced on April 6, 2016, that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Canada’s largest pension fund, plans to purchase a 40% equity interest in Glencore Agri for $2.5 billion. On June 8, 2016, the company entered a definitive agreement with British Columbia Investment Management Corp. for the purchase of a 9.99% stake in Glencore Agricultural Products for $624.9 million payable in cash upon closing.

Glencore Agri is a differentiated and vertically-integrated business focused on the global agricultural products value chain, Glencore said. Built around a network of high-quality origination and logistics assets, comprising over 200 storage facilities, 31 processing facilities and 23 ports, Glencore Agri is well-positioned in key export regions and in the trade of major agricultural commodities, including grains, oilseeds products, rice, sugar, pulses and cotton.