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GrainCorp Says Weaker Aussie Dollar Helping Agriculture Industry

July 26 (Bloomberg) -- GrainCorp Ltd., the Australian crop handler that agreed to be bought for A$2.2 billion ($2 billion) by Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., said the country’s slumping currency is helping the agricultural industry.

“We’re big exporters,” Chief Executive Officer Alison Watkins said today in an interview in Sydney. “It’s definitely something that makes us more competitive, and it can only assist farmer profitability, and therefore investment.”

The Australian dollar is the worst performer among a group of 10 currencies in the past six months, falling 11 percent versus the greenback. It held above $1 from mid-June last year to May 10, the longest stretch above parity with the U.S. dollar since the Aussie was freely floated in 1983.

Decatur, Illinois-based ADM earlier this year agreed to acquire GrainCorp for A$12.20 a share. The deal is subject to approval from Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board and China’s Ministry of Commerce as it will give ADM, the world’s biggest corn processor, control over seven of the eight ports that ship grain in bulk from Australia’s east coast.

Australia is the world’s third-largest shipper of wheat and beef, and the largest wool exporter.

Further consolidation and turnover of properties is expected in the Australian farm industry, Watkins said today. “In the grain industry, generally bigger is better.”

The Aussie dollar climbed 0.3 percent to 92.72 U.S. cents as of 4:00 p.m. in Sydney.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney at jpaton4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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