Global agritraders Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill entered into an agreement on 26 February to open a joint venture in Egypt to supply the country’s soyabean oil and meal market.

The joint venture would own and operate the National Vegetable Oil Co soya crush plant in Borg Al-Arab on Egypt’s northern coast, alongside other commercial and functional activities such as a merchandising operation based in Switzerland that would supply the Egypt plant with soyabeans, ADM said in a statement.

Cargill was planning to double the daily crush capacity at the Borg Al-Arab facility from 3,000 to 6,000 tonnes and said it would be able to produce higher-protein soyabean meal while reducing the need to import soya meal into Egypt.

“Egypt is an important market where demand for high-quality soyabean meal and oil is outpacing the rest of the world,” said John Grossman, president of oilseed crush for EMEA at ADM.

“By bringing together expertise and resources from two great companies and by utilising an existing facility and infrastructure, this joint venture would be perfectly positioned to efficiently meet growing Egyptian demand,” he added.

The joint venture would be managed as a standalone entity with ownership distributed equally between ADM and Cargill and it would not include Cargill’s grain business and port terminal in Dekheila, nor ADM-Medsofts joint venture at the Port of Alexandria.

ADM and Cargill hoped to have the joint venture formally launched by mid-2018 after receiving the necessary regulatory clearances.