COFCO (Australia) Pty Ltd has made it into the IBISWorld Australia’s Top 1000 Companies list for the first time, according to 2016 rankings released last week.
Owned by China-based COFCO Corporation, COFCO’s Australian arm ranked 699 in the list thanks to its increased revenue report; A$512.24 million at balance date December 2015.
“COFCO’s strong performance is largely attributable to its subsidiary Tully Sugar,” IBISWorld senior industry analyst, Sam Johnson, said.
“Ideal weather conditions in the Tully growing region in Queensland contributed to a record sugarcane harvest of 2.897 million tonnes.
“Additionally, the depreciation of the Australian dollar increased the prices that the company received for sugar in export markets.”
COFCO (Australia) Pty Ltd is principally an importer and exporter of grain and food products. Its head office is in Perth, Western Australia.
The full report is available by subscription at the IBISWorld website.
COFCO trades worldwide, has offices globally and aspires to own grain assets overseas to facilitate agricultural trade to feed people.
“Where China is importing it makes a lot of sense if they have global origination capacity so that’s why strategically you need COFCO Agri to expand into those areas to serve COFCO demand from China,” COFCO president Patrick Yu said in an interview last year with Thompson Reuters.
“We don’t mind partners if they have assets or they have local origination capacity that serves the export market, that also works for us. So we are fully open, but definitely not purely trading companies, (we prefer) companies with strategic assets.”
COFCO, as Top Glory Australia Pty Ltd, purchased the Australian sugar asset, Tully Sugar, in 2011. It has since branded many of its businesses with the single name COFCO, or COFCO Agri, discarding outdated and Chinese-sounding traditional state owned nomenclature.
The company’s recent expansion activity in Australia has included acquisition of Noble Grain and negotiations for complete acquisition of global Dutch agribusiness Nidera.
COFCO, through COFCO Agri, is a partner in Quattro Ports which stores and exports wheat, barley and oilseeds through its Port Kembla facility in partnership with Cargill, Emerald Grain and logistics company Qube.
COFCO and Monash University in Melbourne last year announced an agreement to fund research into food and agricultural innovation.
COFCO’s predecessor, China National Cereals, Oilseeds and Foodstuffs Import and Export Company — later Corporation — in the 1960s changed from administrator of businesses in China-wide provinces to a state-owned global trading conglomerate.
Ceroilfood — as COFCO was known in many parts of the world — was encouraging not only its traditional core of export but also import of foodstuffs/agricultural products, and participation in businesses such as hotels and real estate.
The company established an office in Australia in 1989 — Top Glory in North Sydney — whence COFCO began trading in Australian grain markets.