WESTERN Australian grain growers will see a new player in the grain marketing space in the 2014-15 season in US-based co-operative CHS Trading Company Australia.
CHS Australia is wholly owned by CHS Inc, a global billion dollar energy grains and foods business, and is the largest co-operative in the USA owned by ranchers, co-ops and farmers across the USA
CHS supplies grain and other products to over 65 countries with over 24,000 employees in over 24 different countries.
In partnership with Agfarm, representatives from CHS presented at a series of meetings hosted by The Farm Shop, FarmWorks, Merredin Rural Supplies and Prime Rural Services in key grain-growing regions this month, which are all part of the national Ruralco Holdings Limited group which formed a strategic joint venture partnership with CHS Inc in July 2013.
CHS trading manager Chris Brown said the company had been broadly involved in the Australian market in recent years, but was now looking to grow its foothold in the Australian marketplace.
"We have had an office in Singapore for three years and when deregulation came about we signed an export license in preparation to try and participate in the Australian market," Mr Brown said.
"CHS had to watch and wait until it had what was the right opportunity to enter the market and that is when talks with Agfarm and Ruralco came onto the page and that's when we saw the first visible signs of CHS's involvement in the market."
Mr Brown said the success of the CHS co-operative model rests on its grower-first approach.
CHS launched its grower pricing earlier this year in South Australia and Victoria, but according to Mr Brown the company had already seen its greatest success in WA.
"Of the forward business we have on the book now it would be 80 per cent accumulated out of WA," he said.
Mr Brown said CHS operated in all exporting origins around the world, and Australia was the last origin the company aimed to get established in.
"The immediate benefit to our company is plugging into that Australian origination and feeding it into the destination marketing capabilities we already have," he said.
"We are already serving those markets out of the Black Sea, the US and other origins, not having the Australian origin going into South East Asia has been our major market and the one we needed to develop."