COFCO International Limited (CIL) and Growmark, Inc. have created a new grain partnership. This establishes an exclusive supply chain for the cooperative to CIL, which has logistics and processing assets in key global production and consumption regions, including China.

The partnership includes joint ownership and operation of the barge, truck, and rail terminal at Cahokia, Ill., with frontage on the Mississippi River, as well as a grain origination agreement. Growmark will staff a grain merchandiser in CIL’s St. Louis office to originate grain and service patron accounts.

“The partnership positions the Growmark System for expanded access to value-added grain markets,” saysJim Spradlin, Growmark CEO. “U.S. agriculture exports to China totaled $21 billion in 2016; it is the world’s largest importer of soybeans, and is consistently ranked as our second largest agricultural export market.”

CIL’s Cahokia facility receives grain via rail and truck for transloading to barges destined for export. The facility has six truck receiving lanes, a railroad loop track spanning 34,500 feet with two rail pits, allowing for simultaneous unloading of two shuttle trains of grain and grain products, and two 1,600 t/hour barge loading belts serving two barge loading docks.  The site is served by the Alton & Southern railroad and is able to receive product from all Class I railroads.

CIL together with its parent COFCO Group and its affiliates, delivered more than 100 million tons of ag products globally in 2016.

Johnny Chi, the CEO of COFCO International says, “CIL aims to be and be recognized as a world-class global agri-business. A partnership with the second largest agricultural supply and grain cooperative in the United States links COFCO to the growers of the largest grain exporting region in the United States. We strongly believe COFCO / Growmark will be a successful win-win venture. CIL’s focus on global grain trading and its commitment to the US ag market will provide Growmark’s farmers with a sustainable export demand for their production.”