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Graincorp to open European office

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GrainCorp  has unveiled plans to open a European market support and trading office, to be operational in the first half off 2011.

The office will allow the company to provide technical and marketing support to the company’s existing, and potential, bulk grain customers in n Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. The move will also increase the ability of the company to gather market intelligence.

GrainCorp CEO Alison Watkins said, “This is the logical next step in the growth of our grain supply business. Having ‘feet on the ground’ in Europe will allow GrainCorp to be better informed about international grain markets, and provide customers in the region with the same level of service we provide in Australia.”

GrainCorp started trading grain in 1996 and was the first Australian bulk grain handler to do so. Since that time, the company has steadily grown its grain trading and export business, and is now the largest grain exporter from eastern Australia.

“The European office will complement our office in Singapore, and agents in China. It will also provide us with additional market intelligence, and add to the information that comes back to us through our UK, USA, and Canadian malt barley procurement activities,” Mss Watkins said.

On the matter of managing the proposed European grain supply activities, the GrainCorp CEO said, “Management of trading risk associated with this venture is at the front of our minds. We acknowledge that a number of Australian based grain companies have ventured into off-shore grain trading, with mixed results.”

“The European office will work as an extension of our Sydney trading desk, not in independently of it. Performance reporting, position limits and authority signoffs will be tightly controlled, and align directly with our current conservative approach to grain n trading risk,” Ms Watkins said.

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