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Sojitz Invests in Brazil Grain Collector to Boost Asia Sales

Oct. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Sojitz Corp., a Japanese trader that earns a third of its profit from consumer goods and services, will invest in a Brazilian grain harvester and collector to tap food demand in Asia.

Sao Paulo-based Cantagalo General Grains SA farms 150,000 hectares and collects 2 million metric tons of grains a year, Tokyo-based Sojitz said in a statement. The investment will include Cantagalo’s exporting unit CGG Trading SA, Sojitz said, without disclosing the form or the amount.

With the world’s grain consumption more than doubling in the last four decades, Japan’s trading companies are seeking to secure supplies in the Americas and eastern Europe to feed Asia’s growing population. Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. this year paid $2.7 billion for Gavilon Group LLC, the third-largest U.S. grain merchandiser.

Tying up with Cantagalo, which plans to triple its grain handling volumes by 2020, should help Sojitz boost its own annual grain trade to 10 million tons in the same period, the Japanese company said. It didn’t specify its grain volume.

To make the Brazil project a success, Sojitz and its local partner will also help build the Itaqui port in northern Brazil, the company said. Most of Brazil’s grain is exported from the nation’s southern ports, which have become congested, Sojitz said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yuriy Humber in Tokyo at yhumber@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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