Bunge WA calm in storm

Countryman - - NEWS - Rueben Hale

It is busi­ness as usual for grain han­dler Bunge WA, de­spite a string of poor re­sults from the com­pany’s global op­er­a­tions.

Last month Bunge’s world­wide op­er­a­tions, which will cel­e­brate 200 years later this year, re­ported a worse-thanex­pected loss for the fourth quar­ter, which has left the com­pany’s man­age­ment fend­ing off takeover bids from ri­vals and saw the re­moval of Bunge Aus­tralia gen­eral man­ager Chris Au­cote, as part of a world­wide shake-up.

WA re­gional man­ager Christopher Tyson said it re­mained a chal­leng­ing op­er­at­ing cli­mate in the com­pany’s fourth year in the WA mar­ket place.

Mr Tyson said Bunge re­mained com­mit­ted to the farm stor­age-to-port busi­ness model and is work­ing on com­pet­i­tive­ness strate­gies with its grow­ers in the face of in­creased com­pe­ti­tion from low-cost pro­duc­ers in the Black Sea, who are forc­ing their way into what have been tra­di­tion­ally WA mar­kets.

“We don’t have any im­me­di­ate plans to change how we op­er­ate in WA and, in­stead, re­main fo­cused on con­tin­u­ing to work with grow­ers and over­seas mar­kets to de­velop new busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

“Over the past four years, Bunge has made a sig­nif­i­cant long-term in­vest­ment into our WA busi­ness, and we re­main bullish about its prospects in the fu­ture.

“We work with our farm­ers to pro­vide the most cost-ef­fec­tive path­way to the mar­ket place. Bun­bury is a long-term in­vest­ment that will grow in suc­cess as the mar­ket re­quires cheaper ways of get­ting grain from the farm to the cus­tomer.”

Mr Tyson also said that CBH’s move to of­fer on-farm stor­age op­tions to its cus­tomers was a wel­come de­vel­op­ment.

“Our busi­ness model has proven to be ef­fec­tive, and the mar­ket will re­spond and evolve to the op­tion which pro­vides the low­est-cost path­way to the mar­ket,” he said.

“The on-farm stor­age mar­ket has proven to max­imise the low­est-cost path­way to our global cus­tomers which is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant given the con­tin­ued com­pet­i­tive pres­sures WA grain will face in the fu­ture.”

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