ChemChina Buys Syngenta

This is huge news today, state-owned ChemChina pays some 43 Billion $$$ for Swiss agrochemical biotech giant Syngenta. Syngenta was approched by US Monsanto last year who offered even more, but for antitrust reasons, that might not have been a good match, so Syngenta turned them down. Last year, Dow and DuPont also agreed to merge, creating another giant. What it reveals is that the main players in the US/European chemical/GMO sector are having major difficulties.

Incidentally, last year I did a study of Syngenta for Consumers Union of Japan and the No! GMO Campaign. I may have to revisit that and publish it in English as well.

ETC Group is the NGO that has followed these companies closely for a long time. They are very critical of the concentration of power that is emerging.

The Big Six agrochemical corporations (BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, Syngenta) that dominate commercial seed and pesticide markets worldwide now insist they must get bigger, faster if the world wants food security in the midst of climate chaos. According to agribusiness, the extreme pressures of population, demand for meat, and climate crisis require Big Science and Big Money – and that means extreme Mergers all along the industrial food chain.

But really, will China buy up more companies before going bust?

Reuters: China seeks food security with $43 billion bid for Syngenta

China made its boldest overseas takeover move when state-owned ChemChina agreed a $43 billion bid for Swiss seeds and pesticides group Syngenta on Wednesday, aiming to improve domestic food production.
The largest ever foreign purchase by a Chinese firm, announced by both companies, will accelerate a shake-up in global agrochemicals and marks a setback for U.S. firm Monsanto, which failed to buy Syngenta last year.
China, the world's largest agricultural market, is looking to secure food supply for its population. Syngenta's portfolio of top-tier chemicals and patent-protected seeds will represent a major upgrade of its potential output.
"Only around 10 percent of Chinese farmland is efficient. This is more than just a company buying another. This is a government attempting to address a real problem," a source close to the deal told Reuters.
Years of intensive farming combined with overuse of chemicals has degraded land and poisoned water supplies, leaving China vulnerable to crop shortages. The deal fits into Beijing's plans to modernize agriculture over the next five years.
"I was sent to the countryside at the age of 15, so I'm very familiar with what farmers need when they work the land. The Chinese have relied mainly on traditional ways of farming. We want to spread Syngenta’s integrated solution among smallholder farmers," ChemChina Chairman Ren Jianxin told a media briefing.


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