China sows seeds for agricultural M&A splurge

Hunger for food security and safety are a recipe for overseas acquisitions in 2017.
China is the world's top soybean importer
China is the world's top soybean importer

China's push to improve food security and safety has provided the impetus for a growing wave of overseas acquisitions, says Mac El-Omari, head of JP Morgan’s consumer investment banking unit in Asia-Pacific.

The need to ensure China's people have enough safe food to eat has surged up the policy agenda since China's government published a 1996 white paper entitled The Grain Issue in China.

While many of China's farms and food processing plants are state-of-the-art including Cargill’s chicken farms in Lai’an, Anhui province the food chain does not always knit together well across the country, allowing contaminated food to slip in.

Government measures...

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