Agribusiness buzz in brief

Agribusiness buzz in brief


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The fledgling Timac Agro Australia fertiliser business shuts down

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French parent company of fertiliser business Timac Agro Australia, Groupe Roullier, is quitting the Australian market by July, having only just upgraded its local operations here a few months ago.

In February Timac Agro announced it was establishing its Australian base in Caulfield, Melbourne.

Timac Agro specialises in plant and animal nutrition, with a specific expertise in crop nutrition, soil conditioning and fertiliser efficiency.

The company is in 42 countries, but a Groupe Roullier statement this week conceded “the timing of the commencement of our business in Australia has not proved to be right”.

“As a result, we consider it more relevant to focus on the consolidation of existing markets and the launch on new markets where synergies, in terms of logistics and production are possible.”

Timac Agro began importing and distributing in Australia in 2014, building up a staff of  23 in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania.

The company thanked farmers, distributors and third party suppliers who had trusted its services and products.

“We greatly appreciate the work that has been done over the past 3 years and thank everyone for their daily involvement,” the statement said.

A2 exec roles grow

A2 Milk company's Peter Nathan will become chief executive for Asia Pacific.

A2 Milk company's Peter Nathan will become chief executive for Asia Pacific.

A2 Milk Company is making a series of executive appointments, including moving its long-time Australian business boss, Peter Nathan, to a new role as chief executive for Asia Pacific.

From next month Mr Nathan will be responsible for business performance across the region, including a particular focus on Australia and China.

The specialist milk marketer and nutritional formula exporter recently appointed Jesse Wu as head of business development in emerging markets to help focus on building the company’s capacity in the region.

It has also moved Scott Wotherspoon from his lead role in China to become chief executive of Europe and UK and will appoint a new executive vice president in China, based in Shanghai, reporting to Mr Nathan.

Bega attracts interest

Swiss-based investment and financial services group UBS has increased its stake in Bega Cheese to 5.3 per cent via a series of nominee companies.

Bega, which has a ceiling on share ownership of 15pc for any share owner entity, advised the market last week of UBS lifting its interest in the company by more than 1pc in recent trading.

Bega’s shareholding limit, in place until 2021, requires shareholders to stay under the 15pc ceiling or lose their rights to vote and receive dividends on shares in excess of their entitlement.

Bega shares traded around the $5.70 mark early this week - down from recent highs at $6.40 last month.

StockCo appointments

Livestock purchase funder, StockCo, has appointed two senior recruits to its Brisbane head office, Tim Pryor and Graham Leathem.

Mr Pryor who was most recently head of agribusiness at Bank of Queensland, takes over as chief operating officer at StockCo.

He previously also held management and executive positions at Landmark and Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

Mr Leathem becomes Australian credit manager previously was region credit manager for north eastern Australia with Landmark.

StockCo Australia chief executive officer, Richard Brimblecombe, said the finance provider had experienced tremendous growth in the past three years and the new appointments reflected the company’s commitment to outstanding service and market-leading livestock funding solutions.

Deere running faster

US machinery powerhouse Deere and Company’s shares hit new highs when it reported a 5.2 per cent rise in sales to $11 billion ($US8.29b) for the three months to May 1, with earnings up 62pc to $1.06b.

Deere has forecast upbeat full-year earnings, saying further stabilisation was evident in the global market, including a strong recovery in South America.

It is forecasting at least $2.6b in group earnings for the year to October, which was well ahead of recent market expectations.

The upgrade included an 8pc rise in farm machinery sales for the full year –  up from 3pc and reflected an increase to 9pc, from 4pc, in forecasts for equipment sales.

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