The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Who are these agribusiness giants whose profits have soared with soaring prices?


These companies, which have dominated global food supply chains for decades, made record profits in 2022 thanks to soaring prices.

They are four companies, as powerful as States, to dominate the world grain trade.


have made windfall profits since 2021 thanks to soaring prices in wholesale markets and are accused of lacking transparency amid the global food crisis.

The prices of wheat, corn or vegetable oils reached peaks in May 2022 in markets disrupted by the pandemic, then by the war in Ukraine.

They have since come back down, but remain historically high.


Their power, often hidden, is only equaled by their discretion


, summarizes

Bruno Parmentier, engineer and economist, specialist in food issues.

However, the Archer Daniels Midland quartet, Bunge, Cargill and Louis-Dreyfus – whose initials form the acronym


– control “

70 to 90% of the world grain trade

”, recalls Jennifer Clapp, economist specializing in food security at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

It is impossible to know the exact market shares shared by these four giants.

Two of them are not listed on the stock exchange and do not publicly communicate the details of their performance.

Not to mention that new players from Asia, starting with the Chinese COFCO, have come to compete with this historic oligopoly in recent years.

Read alsoCereal price inflation affects French breeders

US giant Cargill, the world's largest agricultural trader, soared to its highest in 157 years according to Bloomberg, hitting $6.68 billion in net profit at the end of its staggered 2021/22 annual financial year ended on May 31st.

A figure up 35% over one year.

These impressive results place Cargill again this year at the top of the largest unlisted companies in the United States, according to a benchmark ranking carried out by Forbes.

In 2022, an "

exceptional year

", the American ADM posted a record net profit of 4.34 billion dollars, up 60%.


While the food and energy security of millions of people is threatened due to the increase in the prices of food and raw materials, traders are recording record profits,” denounced

the Swiss NGO Public Eye in mid-January.

From “Dallas to Delhi”

If they bought wheat in January 2022 for delivery three months later, before the prices skyrocketed because of the war, they were able to sell it afterwards at a much higher level”, explains Jennifer Clapp


Demand for cereals has not weakened since, and "

we remain well placed to capitalize on the upside opportunities that await us

," said Greg Heckman, CEO of Bunge, in February.

Recalling that the company "

does not set food prices

", Cargill denies having "

benefited from the crisis


The group claims to have contributed to the stability of the global food system, while disbursing nearly $162 million in aid to humanitarian organizations.

The ABCDs also highlight the explosion in their costs, from nitrogen fertilizers to maritime transport and fuels.

Read alsoWhy your shopping should cost you more from March

Because from "

Dallas to Delhi

", as ADM puts it, these behemoths unknown to the public are not only intermediaries on the financial markets: they own land, supply seeds and fertilizer to farmers, buy their cereals then transport them by boat, store them and resell them.

It's impossible to say:


I won't work with Cargill or ADM

',” agrees Pat Mooney, founder of the Canadian NGO ETC and specialist in concentration in the agri-food industry.

According to the latter, the “


” did not fulfill their basic functions.



to ensure that food reaches the people who need it at a stable price

“, says Pat Mooney, despite “

abundant public and private reserves

” of cereals.

Read alsoSoaring grain prices jeopardize food security

In France, large retailers have been warning for several weeks of an explosion in prices – of around 10% – in their stores from March.

Sector specialist Olivier Dauvers had used the expression “

red march

” to give the measure of what awaits customers, an expression that distribution professionals and politicians have since put into perspective.

This sudden rise in prices would be the consequence of commercial negotiations between distributors and their suppliers on the wholesale price of goods sold on the shelves.

The agri-food industry says it is forced to increase the prices offered to distributors because of the inflationary context it has had to face for more than a year.

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-24

You may like

News/Politics 2023-02-28T14:10:02.929Z

Trends 24h


© Communities 2019 - Privacy

The information on this site is from external sources that are not under our control.
The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.