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China’s purchase of Nidera divides waters among Argentine farmers

By Guillermo Háskel

China’s move to buy a controlling stake in Netherlands-based agricultural trading company Nidera has divided waters among farmers in Argentina, one of the world’s leading soy exporters, with larger producer celebrating the purchase and smaller ones raising concerns about potential market concentration.

State-run China Grains and Oils Group Corporation (COFCO) announced on February 28 that it had bought a 51 percent stake in Rotterdam-based Nidera — whose largest branch is located in Argentina —reportedly for US$1.2 billion, in a drive to become a global agribusiness player.

Argentine farmers have been confronting the administration of Peronist President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner since 2008 over export duties among other issues.

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