Economic Development

Brazil’s agribusiness companies

Latin America

Latin America
Our Editors
Contributor, The Economist Intelligence Unit

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The profile of agribusiness companies in Brazil has changed dramatically over the past five to ten years. Previously, the so-called “A,B,C,D” multinational trading companies—Archer Daniel Midlands (ADM), Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus—dominated the market, riding the wave of rapid expansion in soybean and grain production in frontier regions such as Mato Grosso.

Local companies are catching up, however. There are currently around 20 agribusiness companies in Brazil’s so-called billionaires’ club—with annual sales of more than US$1bn—and others will soon join either through organic growth or through consolidation. Between 2006 and 2009, for example, Cosan's net operating revenue increased by 153%, Marfrig's rose by 351% and JBS's grew by 698%. The paths to growth followed by these and other forward-looking agribusinesses can provide lessons for ambitious Brazilian companies.

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