Sunday 22 April 2018
Cofco International, the trading arm of China’s largest food company, China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation, is building a soft commodities hub in Dubai as the new location gives it better access to more sugar producing and consuming regions.
The company has relocated its head of business to Dubai from Brazil to establish the trading hub, where about 10 employees will trade sugar, coffee and cotton. Cofco’s Dubai office will soon move to the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.
The move is a part of the business’s strategy to work more efficiently, be more focused and improve origination. The trading hub will give Cofco easier access to sugar producers such as India and Thailand, as well as to deficit areas in the Middle East and Asia. It will also allow for easier dealings with the head office in Geneva and China, where the parent company is located. Cofco already had small operations in Dubai, with an office in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.
The company plans to trade five million 60-kg bags this year, up from five million bags last year. Coffee is becoming more important in China, traditionally a tea-drinking nation, he said. While estimates vary a lot, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Chinese consumption more than doubled in the past five years and will reach a record 4.1 million bags this season.