Ambitious Cargill buys Romania's largest sunflower oil maker

Related tags Cargill Sunflower

Increasingly dominant ingredients supplier Cargill ups its stake in
the Romanian edible oils market, as the competition authorities
clear the way for the US firm to buy Olpo Podari, the largest
Romanian sunflower oil maker.

Cargill already controls around 10 per cent of Romania's silo capacity after the acquisition of Comcereal earlier this year, that gave it a comprehensive network of grain storage facilities in the Romanian grain belt.

The acquisition of Olpo Podari allows it to move into the local market for oilseed crushing and refining, as well as the bottled oils business.

"Olpo has strong bottled oil brands [premium being 'Untdelemn de la Bunica', and a regional one, 'Olpo']. This acquisition provides Cargill with a wider range of bottled oils and will support greater access to other markets for Olpo products,"​ said Ludo Danneels, Cargill's commercial manager for the bottled oils business in Europe.

In exchange Cargill claims the Olpo will benefit from Cargill's "extensive network of silos in the country and worldwide experience in the crushing, refining and bottling areas."

Olpo is currently completing construction of a new crushing line that will increase the factory's processing capacity to about 1,200 tons per day, making it the one of the largest oil factories in south-east Europe.

The Romanian firm currently processes up to 600 tons of seeds daily, the vast majority of which are sunflower seeds. Most of the oilseeds are sourced locally.

Active in the domestic wheat market as well as trading feed barley, maize, sunflower seeds and soybeans, Cargill began its activities in Romania in 1996. Romania is the world's eighth largest sunflower producing country, with 926,000 tons of sunflower seeds produced annually, and 144,000 exported, according to PS&D Database, FAS/USDA. Global production of sunflower hits an average of about 24 million tons.

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