Grain Trading Profits Grow after Price Drop

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter McCusker

FARMER-owned grain trading and marketing business GrainCo has seen its revenues hit pounds 140m and its profits rise by 50% after it predicted the plunge in grain prices.

The South Shields-based company, which has 32 staff at its head office and branches in Aberdeen, Yorkshire and Malta, saw revenues rise by 5% and pre-tax profits increase to pounds 1.3m for the year to end of June, 2009.

The company, which is owned by farmers' storage and grain drying co-operative Tynegrain, sells and markets grain for more than 2,500 farmers from Yorkshire to the north of Scotland.

Managing director Gary Bright said the year was characterised by a dramatic fall in grain prices after the major rally in 2007 when prices reached pounds 180 per tonne. Wheat is currently priced at around pounds 110 per tonne. Prices fell from their peak due to new global plantings and the recession choking demand.

"The fall in price was accurately forecast by our trading team, which enhanced our trading profits from carrying an authorised short position and greatly benefited our committed growers who sold forward at higher values," he said.

Parent company's chairman Charles Beaumont said: "GrainCo continues to perform well, with excellent results in Scotland and Yorkshire, placing GrainCo as the North's leading farmer-owned grain trading company offering growers an alternative to the multinational businesses trading in the North."

Mr Bright went on to say that as GrainCo will reinvest the profits in the business, and support its growth plans following the recent opening of a new office in Yorkshire.

He added: "We have opened a new office in Yorkshire to cater for its growing market share in this region and this is seen as GrainCo's largest growth area. …