China Facts: China has become a massive global food trader



The four giant firms that dominate global agricultural flows - ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, collectively known as the ABCDs - were all founded over a century ago. COFCO Intl (CIL) is barely four years old but already earns $34bn in revenue - four-fifths that of Louis Dreyfus, the smallest ABCD. It shifts 105m tons of grain, oilseeds and sugar a year, a volume roughly equal to America's entire production of soyabeans. Latin America remains its most important region for sourcing, but it is also creating export routes from North America and the Black Sea. Last July, China responded to American tariffs by slapping high duties on American soyabeans. This forced China to find a new source for one-third of its $40 bn yearly needs - totaling 33m tonnes or four times what all of South-east Asia consumes. CIL did much of the work by finding new suppliers in Brazil.*) 


*) the Economist 2nd February 2019















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Hans Henrik Pontoppidan
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