Global agribusiness and food company Bunge Ltd and Singapore’s Wilmar International announced on 5 July that they are forming a joint venture in Vietnam to leverage both companies’ footprints in Asia.

Wilmar will buy a 45% share in Bunge’s crushing operations in Vietnam, and Quang Dong – a leading soya meal distributor in the country – will retain its existing 10% stake in the operations, creating a three-party joint venture, Reuters said.

“Bunge is excited to partner with Wilmar, the largest downstream edible oils player in Vietnam,” said Bunge CEO Soren Schroder. “The collaboration will create increased operating, marketing and logistics synergies across the Vietnam oils and soyabean meal value chains, and help us remain a low-cost operator with the highest efficiency possible.”

Wilmar chairman and CEO Kuok Khoon Hong said his company was a major buyer of soyabean oil in Vietnam, while Bunge was the largest producer of soyabean oil in the country.

“The soyabean meal distribution capabilities of the joint venture also complement Wilmar’s animal feed ingredients business in Vietnam, including rice bran, wheat bran, palm kernel expeller, copra expeller, canola meal and feed oils.”Vietnam is a growing market for oilseeds due to increased demand for meat and production of livestock, which are fed with soya meal, according to Reuters. The country is forecast to import 5.2M tonnes of soya meal in 2016/17, up from 2.291M tonnes a decade ago, data from the US Department of Agriculture says.

Bunge buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains worldwide; processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for commercial customers and consumers; produces sugar and ethanol from sugarcane; mills wheat, corn and rice to make ingredients used by food companies; and sells fertiliser in South America.

Wilmar is a leading agribusiness group with activities including oil palm cultivation, oilseed crushing, edible oils refining, sugar milling and refining, specialty fats, oleochemicals, biodiesel and fertiliser manufacturing as well as rice and flour milling.

It is partly owned by Bunge’s rival ADM, which raised its stake to 20% in Wilmar in March.

Quang Dong is a leading soyabean meal distributor in Vietnam and majority owner of Green Feed, a growing Vietnamese feed milling business.