Linked In
News In
Linked In

You are viewing your 1 complimentary article.

Register now to receive full access.

Already registered?

Login | Join us now

Chinese grain giant Cofco airs global ambitions

Twitter Linkedin eCard

Cofco, the state-owned Chinese grain trader, pushed back a little the timescale on its flotation - but not on its ambitions, saying that it wanted to transform itself into a "global agricultural company".

Ning Gaoning, the Cofco chairman and chief executive, highlighted the potential for meeting China's food needs, foreseeing the country's imports rise to some two-thirds to about 200m tonnes over the next decade, boosted by a switch to higher-value products such as meat and dairy.

However, the group was "not going to be a company that only supplies China," he said.

"China is only one destination."

"A global company"

Cofco, which has already bought a controlling stake in Dutch agricultural trading house Nidera, and in the agriculture business of Singapore-based Noble Group, said that was "looking at North America", Mr Ning told the FT Commodities Global summit.

"We need something there to be a so-called global value chain company."

Indeed, Cofco "should be not a Chinese, but a global company", he said, adding that the group's plans for a stockmarket flotation "will help us achieve this standard".

The group has also been diversifying away from grains, buying up meat and dairy production in China, and a portfolio of foreign assets that include sugar cane plantations in Australia and vineyards in France and Chile.

Rethinking self-sufficiency

Mr Ning restated Cofco's aims for a flotation, but in the timescale of three to five years, implying some creep from previous guidance on an IPO. Six months ago, he had said an IPO could take three years.

Cofco's rapid growth has been driven by Ning Gaoning, a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh's business school, but it also reflects a shift in Chinese government policy.

China's state owned enterprises compete commercially, but are controlled entirely or partly by the national or regional government.

China's agricultural state owned enterprises have long focused on ensuring domestic supply, a legacy of the famines China suffered in the 20th century.

Mr Ning also called on the Chinese government "to rethink their self-sufficiency policy", flagging the country's relatively high production costs for many crops.


Twitter Linkedin eCard
Related Stories

Will protein prices fight back against fat in dairy markets?

Prices of fats remain elevated against protein values in dairy - at a time when the opposite is true in markets for oilseed products

World phosphate, potash shipments to grow in 2018, helped by Chinese needs

Mosaic forecasts further demand expansion, as it heralds a "transformational year" for its own fortunes, after a 2017 marred by a one-time tax charge

Deere lifts sales hopes - even as it unveils biggest loss in 25 years

The maker of John Deere tractors flags "strengthening" market conditions, but swallows a huge writedown prompted by US tax retorms

Plant Impact agrees takeover by Croda, after failure of Bayer contract

The crop enhancement group, floored by the failure of a supply deal with Bayer, agrees a takeover by a maker of chemicals from anti-wrinkle creams to floor coatings
Home | About | RSS | Commodities | Companies | Markets | Legal disclaimer | Privacy policy | Contact

Our Brands: Comtell | Feedinfo | FGInsight

© 2017 and Agrimoney are trademarks of Agrimoney Ltd
Agrimoney is part of AgriBriefing Ltd
Agrimoney Ltd is registered in England & Wales. Registered number: 09239069