COFCO unveils plans to double grain purchases in Black Sea region

SWITZERLAND – Leading agricultural commodities supplier, COFCO International has revealed plans to double the company’s grain purchases in the Black Sea region.

A Financial Times report indicated that the plan is part of the global strategy to expand its operations beyond China while serving well customers in this market.

According to the chairman of the Chinese-owned agricultural trading group, Johnny Chi, the company aims to double the volume of grains it sources from the region in the next two to three years.

Chi said the firm traded 106 million tonnes of commodities last year and aims to increase the number of crops it buys directly from farmers outside China to over 60 million tonnes by 2022, compared with 40 million last year.

“Our new ports in the Black Sea region primarily serve exports to Western Europe,” Chi said.

Controlled by Chinese food group COFCO Corp, COFCO International has grown to become a global commodities trading conglomerate after acquiring grain trader Nidera.

In 2016, COFCO acquired the 49% stake of Noble Agri held by Noble Group for US$750 million.

To expand its global overview, the company has unveiled plans to list on the stock market by 2020.

These ambitious plans by the international trading arm of the Chinese state-owned food group is set to disrupt the ABCD quartet of farm commodity giants comprising Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Louis Dreyfus and Cargill.

Wei (David) Dong, who was recently appointed as Chief Executive Officer has embarked on efforts to expand its business with a commitment to produce and supply processed agricultural products beyond China.

COFCO International recently joined the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to accelerate sustainable development across its businesses.

This was aimed at tackling sustainability in soy production and land use challenges in Brazil.

The company handles more than 100 million tonnes of agricultural commodities each year and employs 12,000 people in 35 countries.

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