China’s need for agricultural resources is driving the nation’s investment in agriculture and food sectors abroad, USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) reports.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture counted 1,300 agricultural, forestry and fisheries overseas investments valued at $26 billion in 2016. Chinese interests in Southeast Asia focus on crops like palm oil, sugar and lumber. They have invested in dairy, beef and lamb operations in New Zealand and Australia.
In some instances, Chinese companies and officials also have acquired established agribusiness companies, such as ChemChina’s $43-billion acquisition of Syngenta.
While China’s spending on foreign agricultural ventures appears large, it is modest compared with the country’s agricultural imports. In 2016, the country’s foreign ag investment equaled 3% of the value of its agricultural imports.
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