The Wall Street Journal had an article yesterday on how Chinese companies are continuing to invest in South America especially in buying up farm land to feed their people. Through the twelve month period ended May 31, 2011, the China's investment in Latin America had hit $15.6 billion.
During the last three years, more than 70% of their investments had been in energy and minerals, but farming is attracting more attention.
This month, China's largest farming company, Heilongjian Beidahuan Nongken Group signed a joint venture with Argentina's Creud SA to buy land and farm soybeans. Creud SA already controls more than 2.5 million acres of land in Argentina. Heilongjian had already indicated back in March their intentions to purchase 500 thousand acres of land overseas during this year and Latin America is their primary target area.
They are also spending $1.5 billion to develop about 750 thousand acres of land in Rio Negro Province over a ten year period. These developments will not be a direct purchase of land, but they will be in control of the production.
With the backing of the Chinese government, we will continue to see this type of investment going forward.