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Agribusiness bigs launch ocean freight partnership

Written by Nick Blenkey

wilmar shippingOCTOBER 18, 2012 — Two global agribusiness giants, Decatur, Ill., headquartered Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) and Singapore based Wilmar International Limited (SGX: WIL), say they have completed regulatory approvals for their partnerships in global fertilizer and European vegetable oil and have also launched a partnership in global ocean freight.

“Given our long association with ADM in Asia, we are confident of the efficiencies that these new global partnerships will bring to our businesses,” said Kuok Khoon Hong, Wilmar’s Chairman and CEO.

Through the three partnerships, which will be based in Rolle, Switzerland, ADM and Wilmar will:

  • collaborate on purchasing and distribution in the global fertilizer business;
  • partner in the sale and marketing of vegetable oils and fats in Europe; and
  • work together to improve the utilization and management of their oceangoing fleets, with each company initially contributing two ships to the effort.

Collaborations between ADM and Wilmar began in the mid-1990s, when they jointly built a network of soybean processing operations in China. Today, ADM owns a 16 percent equity stake in Wilmar. The companies have significant supplier relationships with each other.

In October 2011, ADM announced that it had placed an order with Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation for the construction of three new post-Panamax dry-bulk oceangoing vessels that are being built at Oshima Shipbuilding Company Ltd. and whose eco-friendly features will include Mitsubishi Air Lubrication System (MALS) air-lubricated hulls. When delivered, the post-Panamax bulkers will increase the size of ADM’s oceangoing fleet to 11 vessels. ADM also owns and operates 1,700 barges, 58 tug boats and 29 line boats.

Wilmar, too, has its own fleet of vessels which caters primarily to in-house needs as part of Wilmar’s integrated business model. The shipping operation is managed by Raffles Shipping Corporation Pte. Ltd, a subsidiary of Wilmar.

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