China Expands Presence in Agribusiness with Warehouses and Factories

Asian companies seek control over the soy production chain in Mato Grosso

São Paulo

A large construction site stands out in the landscape of Carlinda, in northern Mato Grosso—the largest construction that the city of 10,000 inhabitants has ever housed.

A metallic arch that will support the ceiling is already ready. About 200 employees work at a fast pace to complete the project by the middle of the year. If the rains stop, they will make it, since money is no problem.

"Here we are going to create a new story," says a sign by Cofco International, responsible for the work. A warehouse with a capacity for 65 thousand tons of soybeans will operate at the site, one of many that the Chinese company has in the state, the largest Brazilian producer of grains.

Cofco in MT. (Foto: Zanone Fraissat/Folhapress, MERCADO)

Since arriving in Brazil in 2014, Cofco has become one of the leading companies among the many companies in the Asian country that have established themselves in the agribusiness sector in the state in recent years, maintaining a pace of strong expansion.

Along the BR-163, the main road that cuts through the soy-producing region, its warehouses with large mandarin characters on the façade attract attention.

The company is a "trading company," operating throughout the soy chain with only one objective: to ensure that the product goes all over the Chinese market.

"We have a strategic growth plan of at least 5% per year," said the director of the company's grain and oilseed area, Carolina Hernandez Tascon.

China is the largest consumer market for Brazilian soybeans, having purchased 60 million tonnes in 2019, about three-quarters of the total exported.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language