Grain digital platform Covantis adds North America crops

PARIS, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Covantis, a digital trading platform for agricultural commodities, said on Monday it has added North American crops a year after its initial launch in the Brazilian market.

The North American launch will cover wheat, canola, sorghum, barley, distillers' dried grains (DDGS), rice, corn meal and beet pulp pellets, as well as soybeans, soybean meal and corn that were already available on the platform, Covantis said in a statement.

The aim is help users execute contracts involving bulk vessels loading in the United States and Canada, it said.

Covantis is among initiatives in the commodity sector using the blockchain - a digital ledger also used by cryptocurrency bitcoin - to improve efficiency by replacing paper documents and email-based communication.

Its founding members are global crop merchants Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N), Bunge (BG.N), Cargill, COFCO International, Louis Dreyfus Company and Viterra.

More than 50 entities from 16 agribusiness groups are set up in the platform to execute shipments, Covantis said.

The addition of North American trade flows should boost significantly volumes executed via the platform, it added.

Regarding volumes executed so far for Brazilian trade, Covantis did not immediately respond to a request for details.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz

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