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Minnesota-based CHS plans to build a grain export terminal in Australia as part of the agribusiness giant's joint venture with Broadbent Grain.

The southern nation this year was the world's second-largest wheat exporter and leading barley exporter.

The facility in Geelong, in the southeast Australian state of Victoria, will have an annual capacity of 1.5 million metric tons and go into operation next year, according to CHS Broadbent.

"The Geelong location extends our supply chains in the Asia-Pacific region and provides farmers with a unique opportunity to connect with our global network," Brian Schouvieller, a CHS senior vice president and member of the CHS Broadbent board, said in a news release this week.

Australia has had a run of record grain production over the past several years that has boosted its ranking among exporters, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but production is expected to fall during the current growing season.

The Australian government estimates wheat exports next year will remain 10% above the 10-year average. Total grain exports passed 51 million metric tons over the past year, when Australia represented more than a third of the world's sorghum, chickpea and canola exports.

CHS Broadbent is paying about $10.2 million for 12 acres of port land, according to the seller, Midway Limited. This will provide CHS Broadbent with "its first dedicated grain export terminal in Australia," Tony McKenna, Midway's managing director, said in a statement.

Midway, a wood fiber processor and exporter, said it will spend about $3 million on land improvements, while CHS Broadbent did not disclose what it would be investing into the operation.

The joint venture's managing director, Steve Broadbent, said the terminal "will provide a more competitive pricing opportunity for farmers in the area."

CHS, headquartered in Inver Grove Heights, is the nation's top-grossing agriculture co-op.