“Following continued monitoring of the situation over the past year, Viterra has concluded that its activities in Russia no longer fit the long-term direction of the company,” Viterra said.
Reuters reported that Nikolai Demyanov, the head of Viterra’s Russian office, said that the Russian management team plans to create an independent Russian grain exporter once the company ceases export activities in the country.
“We are assessing options to transfer our business and assets in Russia to new owners and will provide further information when and if appropriate,” Demyanov added.
Rotterdam-based Viterra recently reported its most successful financial year in 2022 with a record EBITDA of US$2.65 billion, citing record production in its major export regions among the reasons for its strong performance.
The grain handler, branded Viterra Rus in Russia, employs about 700 people in the country, where it has operated since 2004.
Viterra operates through group-owned port terminals in Taman and Rostov-on-Don with field offices in the grain-producing regions of Krasnodar, Stavropol, Rostov, Voronezh, and Saratov.
“After this decision, our main task is to save jobs and support the remaining infrastructure,” Demyanov said.
Russia’s agriculture ministry said it remains positive that Viterra’s decision will not affect the amount of Russia’s grain exports.