China expected to increase purchases of soy from Brazil over next few years

25 September 2009

Beijing, China, 25 Sept – Chinese soy imports from Brazil are expected to increase substantially over the next few years, according to an executive from the Noble group, a Hong Kong-based company that processes agricultural, industrial and energy products.

Noble this week sold 15 percent of its shares to the China Investment Corp (CIC) for US$850 million.

Jamie Teke, who is responsible for the company’s financial structure, said that China did not have capacity to increase its soy production due to a lack of water and thus irrigation.

“We do not see favourable conditions in China to reduce imports,” Teke said, at the Investment Forum held in Beijing.

In the first nine months of 2009, Brazil exported 25 million tons of soy to China. In the same period of 2008 Brazilian soy exports totaled 20 million tons.

Noble has a complex to process vegetable oil to the north of Shanghai and two others, in central and southern China, for the same purpose.

Noble invested US$300 million in 2008 in acquiring a sugar and ethanol factory in Brazil and is this year preparing to open a terminal at the port of Santos to export grain and sugar.

The company also plans to open a sugar and ethanol processing unit in Sao Paulo in April, 2010.

China is this year expected to import 40 million tons of soy, mainly from the United States, Brazil and Argentina.

The volume of imports is much higher than the Chinese soy harvest, which totals some 15 million tons. (macauhub)