Glencore now top wheat exporter

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian
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Glencore has taken CBH's mantle as the biggest exporter of Australian wheat in the wake of its $6.1 billion Viterra takeover, but competition is tight at the top of the deregulated grain industry.

The latest figures from Australian Crop Forecasters show Glencore exported 3.4 million tonnes of wheat in 2012-13, pipping CBH with 3.3mt and Cargill at 3.2mt.

CBH was the biggest exporter of grain overall with 5.56mt and is set to regain wheat bragging rights on the back of a bumper harvest in WA this season.

ACF senior commodities broker Nicholas Brooks said Glencore had trumped CBH in wheat on the back of acquiring Viterra.

Mr Brooks said new player Vitol was set to crash into the top five players this year, depending on how aggressively it entered the market.

"There is speculation that Vitol will be aggressive and it has a lot of the old Viterra team," he said.

Vitol, a Swiss-based and Dutch-owned energy and commodity trader, has been tight-lipped since making a stunning entry into the WA grain market, buying up about 400,000 tonnes of port capacity for this year's harvest. It has since bought port capacity and enlisted Australian Grain Exporters to accumulate tonnes in South Australia.

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