Bunge Considers Extra Port to Achieve “Global Footprint”
U.S.-based Bunge is pursuing partnerships or new construction projects to gain a share of commodity exports from the west coast of Canada, and is considering adding a third port in either southern or eastern Australia in order to grow its core agri-food business, according to chief executive officer, Soren Schroder.
“We are very, very close to having completed the global footprint,” Schroder said Thursday in an interview with Bloomberg. “Canada and Australia were the last two pieces.”
Since being named chief executive in 2013, Schroder has been reviewing the group’s businesses in order to identify where the group could improve returns, deciding to scale back its asset-management unit and focusing on its strong core agribusiness and food activities. Bunge is also reportedly looking for ways to exit some of its sugar and bioenergy interests in Brazil, but is waiting for the right opportunities. Mr. Schroder declined to comment to Bloomberg on the timing of such actions.
Bunge has already made a major advance into Canada’s grain sector on April 15, when it partnered with Saudi Arabian, state-owned SALIC to jointly buy a majority 51% stake in grain exporter, CWB, the former Canadian Wheat Board.
In Australia, Bunge states it prefers to convert existing facilities, or to build new projects rather than make acquisitions. The first vessel recently left from its new Bunbury port in Australia, and construction on its new terminal at its Geelong port is advancing.