Did you know 60 per cent of the world’s population lives in Asia?
That makes it one of the most important markets for grains, oilseed and plant-based protein suppliers around the world.
Enter: GrainCorp Thailand.
With Country Marketing Manager Varapong Lohachitranond at the helm, GrainCorp’s one-man shop is part of an integrated strategy to expand its operations in Asia.
Asian Trading Director Michael Jester says plenty of work is being done behind the scenes to ready GrainCorp for the ‘next big wave.’
“Since October 2020, we have sold over 400,000 tonnes of grain into Thailand in a push to open up that market for GrainCorp,” he says.
“We’re keeping an eye on the Black Sea wheat market, to see if our barley prices can compete with the imported feed wheat coming into Thailand.
“If the spread is big enough, there will be continuous business for us until November 2021.”
Michael says Varapong, who was born in Bangkok and has worked in the grain and trading fields for years, is an ‘old hand’ at this.
“Varapong started in December 2020 and has worked in the industry for a very long time – he knows the trading landscape by heart.”
Varapong’s work history certainly puts GrainCorp in good stead for connecting its Sydney and Singapore offices with local demand in Thailand.
“Before joining GrainCorp, I was in agricultural commodities industry for 13 years,” he says.
“I’ve worked with everything from soybeans, milling wheat, feed wheat, fertilisers, corn and tapioca, to name a few.
“I’m now focused on growing GrainCorp’s business in Thailand by expanding our customer database and enhancing our relationships.
“I believe we will capture more business on milling wheat, feed wheat and feed barley because Thailand has regular demand for about four million tonnes of those grains each year.
“Feed wheat and feed barley are also good potential replacements of local corn.”