Bunge WA calm in storm

Rueben HaleCountryman

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-than-expected 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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