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Bunge Could be the Largest Grain Buyer in Canada

The proposed merger between Bunge and Viterra could drastically shift grain marketing for Canadian farmers for years to come. Initially announced in June of 2023, and expected to be completed mid-2024, the merger has come under scrutiny here in Canada and abroad.

The Competition Bureau of Canada and Transport Canada are currently going through the regulatory review process to look at the impact this merger would have on the market competitiveness of grain elevator access for growers and export capacity through the Canadian grain transportation system.

Bunge operates many grains processing facilities globally including 56 oilseed crushing facilities, 17 grain mills, and 47 refineries. The acquisition of 67 Viterra primary elevators in Canada complements Bunge’s value-added grain processing business units by increasing their ability to acquire grains such as canola for crushing and wheat for milling. This deal would catapult Bunge ahead of other major primary grain buying companies in Canada, like Richardson and Cargill by giving them an ownership stake of approximately 33% of Canadian primary elevator capacity.

This consolidation will not only have a ripple effect across the Prairies but also globally affect the dynamics of grain trade. There are concerns relating to the loss of regional competition from primary elevator ownership, and the potential for elevators to be closed or sold off. Analysis over the number of ports Bunge would have an ownership stake in, and the role their non-controlling in G3 Canada Limited is still ongoing.

The provincial canola commissions are working with government regulators, as well as industry representatives to ensure that the voice of farmers is considered when assessing the pros and cons of this merger between Bunge and Viterra.

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