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Australian wool buyer and exporter Viterra is expanding its wool business into the New Zealand market, according to Otago Daily Times.

The expansion would provide the New Zealand wool industry with a “major new player”, the company’s agri-products executive manager, Peter Davey, said.

Viterra entered the market with “balance sheet strength” and good knowledge of the international wool industry, Davey was quoted saying.

The agri-business company operates in three distinct businesses – grain handling and marketing, agri-products and processing.

It has appointed Steve Major and Alan Robertson to manage the export of both greasy and processed wool into various international markets and sell into the local domestic market.

Both men had significant experience in the New Zealand wool industry, from direct procurement and delivery of greasy and processed wools to domestic and international clients and markets, Davey said.

Major has worked in the New Zealand wool industry for 30 years and has run his own wool export company.

Robertson has worked in the wool industry for almost 40 years, first with a major wool-processing company and then his own export business. Viterra will source wool through the auction platform and from local agents and brokers.

The announcement came a week after Wool Equities Ltd revealed it had secured significant funding to make a rival bid for New Zealand Wool Services International (WSI).

That followed a decision by the High Court to place a temporary halt on Cavalier Wool Holdings’ proposed purchase of WSI to allow an appeal on the decision to be heard.

Last month, the Commerce Commission granted authorisation to Cavalier Wool Holdings to make an offer for WSI’s wool-scouring assets.

Last month, Viterra celebrated buying its millionth bale of wool. The wool export trading business was established four years ago and had exports totalling 250,000 bales a year.

It started in South Australia and Western Australia and was expanding into Victoria. It had built relationships in the key export markets of China, India and Italy.

Viterra has operations across Australia, New Zealand, North America and Western Canada and offices in Japan, Singapore, China, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Germany and India.

It entered the Australian and New Zealand market in 2009 when Viterra Inc and ABB Grain Ltd combined operations.

It has a presence in both the North and South Islands and is active in grain accumulation, marketing, storage, logistics, malt and feed processing and rural inputs.
— Source: Otago Daily Times

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