China's Heilongjiang Jiusan soybean crusher to list and diversify

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Harbin

China's third largest soybean crusher Heilongjiang Jiusan is
doubling its output -- to one quarter of the country's total - as
it prepares to float on the Hong Kong stock exchange next year.

Heilongjiang Jiusan​ is preparing for a Chinese Renminbi 500 million (€50 m) listing in Hong Kong next year, said company president Tian Renli at a recent media conference.

Tian said the company expected its profits would almost double this year, to Chinese Renminbi 200 million (€20 m), on a likely revenue increase of 75 per cent to Chinese Renminbi six billion, nearly €600 m, as volatile prices affect soybean imports and exports around the world.

The company, which is based in Harbin, in northeast China's Heilongjiang province, expects to reap four million tons of soybeans next year after carrying out plans this year to merge with or takeover nearly 1,300 local processing mills and farms.

Heilongjiang, where it is situated, covers nearly 470,000 square kilometres and is bigger than Sweden. The province is China's largest producer and exporter of soybeans, one of the country's most important grain producers, China's largest milk and dairy producer and is home to major brand names Beidahuang rice and Wandashan dairy.

Heilongjiang Jiusan intends to raise funds through a listing to enable it to diversify its operations into beauty and health products, pharmaceuticals and clothing. It already produces some vitamins and health food products and is reportedly involved in talks with Japan's Sumitomo.

Many exporters have benefited from international soybean prices, which until recently had been high. But between 12-18 May international prices dropped substantially, according to Mike Martin, protein markets consultant with the American Soybean Association.

Chinese soybean imports fell due to the previously high prices and the country's financially strapped crushers had appealed to US grain companies to help keep them afloat by accepting deferred payments.

Some Chinese importers had halted shipments of soybeans from Brazil after it was found that some cargoes were laced with fungicides, although there was speculation within the industry that the motivation was more related to falling prices, as Brazilian farmers had also been seeking to renegotiate deals with Brazilian processors.

Heilongjiang Jiusan had not been affected by these recent events, as it does not import any soybeans. Tian Renli was very keen to point out that the company sources its soybeans domestically and all produce is non-genetically modified.

The company appears to be pinning a lot of its hopes on increasing its exports, which currently account for two per cent of sales, to the European markets, and taking advantage of continuing consumer disquiet about the safety of GM products.

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