China’s COFCO International is in the throes of a staffing upheaval as the group pursues its professed ambition of sitting at the top table of global agricultural traders. But doubts persist among some in the industry over whether the trading firm will really challenge the existing four dominant players in grains, oilseeds and sugar. In the end, they suspect, it may prioritize securing strategic food supplies for China over commercial aims in an era of rising trade tensions…Full Article: Jakarta Globe Jan 2018

Key Point

  • In December 2017, COFCO announced it had cut 2,500 jobs in its Brazilian sugar division.
  • In April 2017, COFCO launched COFCO International Ltd (CIL), a Geneva-based commodity trading company that was created through the merger of its various trading units. London’s Standard Chartered Private Equity and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) own a minority stake in CIL.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2017, COFCO International agreed to sell Nidera BV’s crop seed unit to Syngenta AG. COFCO had been suffering financial losses from Nidera’s Latin American operations.During the same month, the President of COFCO Corporation noted that COFCO International would be listed on a stock exchange in 2019. In the meantime, Nidera and Noble Group will be merging into COFCO International.
  • In August 2017, COFCO International (subsidiary of COFCO Group) signed a grain supply partnership with Growmark, an Illinois-based agricultural cooperative. As a result of the agreement, Growmark will assist COFCO’s Saint Louis office in sourcing grain. In 2016, COFCO acquired a grain terminal near the Port of Saint Louis due to its 2016 acquisition of Nidera. Also during August 2017, COFCO announced it was looking to sell Nidera’s Latin American seeds business.
  • In May 2017, China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) announced it would acquire 94.7% of Syngenta.
  • In February 2017, COFCO completed its takeover of Nidera BV.
  • In December 2016, Nidera BV stated it had found a USD 150 million “financial hole” in its Brazilian division.
  • In August 2016, COFCO announced it would buy out the remaining outstanding stake in Nidera BV from Cygne BV. During the same month, USA’s CFIUS approved of ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta.
  • In October 2015, a “rogue trader” from Nidera BV (COFCO-owned) lost USD 200 million in biofuels. According to the Nidera CEO, the financial losses were noticed after global biofuel prices dropped in early 2015.
  • In May 2015, COFCO announced plans to restructure its assets, including possibly merging China Agri-Industries and China Foods (also a listed COFCO subsidiary), before listing the restructured assets on a stock exchange.
  • In April 2014, COFCO acquired a 51% stake (estimated at USD 1.5 billion) in Noble Group’s Agribusiness Division (trades in grains, oilseeds, sugar, cocoa, cotton, and coffee). COFCO’s February 2014 investment in Nidera and April 2014 investment in Noble Group was 60% financed by COFCO and 40% by outside investors such as: Hopu Investment Management Co. (Chinese private-equity firm), Temasek Holdings (Singapore state-owned investment firm), Standard Chartered Private Equity and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.
  • In February 2014, COFCO purchased a 51% stake (estimated at USD 1.2 billion) in Nidera, a Dutch grain trading company. As a result, COFCO will be able to source oilseeds, corn, soybeans, and edible oils directly from Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
  • Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Beijing, COFCO is the largest supplier of products/services in the agricultural products and food industry in China. COFCO serves as the main importing and exporting channel for bulk agricultural products such as wheat, corn, rice and sugar. As an investment holding company specialized in trade and processing of oil and foodstuff as well as other businesses.

Hong Kong Trends

Similar Posts by ChinaAg

Spread the word. Share this post!