Glencore Agriculture UK – Anglo-Swiss commodity trading and mining giant Glencore’s UK agribusiness – has acquired all assets of UK animal feed product supplier Mercury Commodities, the company said in a statement on 18 April.

Included in the acquisition of Mercury, which had for 18 months been the sole agent supplying Glencore with soyabeans in the UK, were all of its workforce assets and Mercury’s deep-water terminal and storage facilities on the Isle of Portland.

The Portland site would be Glencore Agriculture UK’s first wholly-owned portside facility and would open the doors for the import of animal feeds from the company’s global crop processing facilities, said Glencore Agriculture UK managing director James Maw.

“We are looking to further invest and extend the site’s capacity and capability, alongside working with expanding the import arrangements at Teesport and other ports – to fulfil the major livestock areas of the UK and supply and increasing nationwide customer base,” said Maw.

Maw added that the existing 50,000 tonnes of modern storage and handling facilities at Portland also offered a “highly responsive export route for arable farmers” in the south of England.

“With uncertainty over the future of export opportunities and international markets, we can seek to connect and enhance domestic consumption for arable grain, oilseeds and protein crops, to supply a productive and viable livestock sector,” he said.

“The move will secure and fulfil UK demand, as well as exploit any export opportunity to improve returns on UK farmers.”

In October 2016, Glencore Grain, a subsidiary of Glencore, announced the launch of an animal feed products marketing business in the UK.

Glencore Grain has been trading since 1969 and has 180,000 employees at more than 150 locations. In 2014, the company had a turnover of US$224bn and total assets of US$152bn.