BEIJING May 9 Cofco Tunhe Sugar Co Ltd
, a subsidiary of agricultural conglomerate Cofco,
signed a partnership agreement with Shandong Xingguang Sugar
Group Co Ltd on trade and product development, according to a
statement issued on Monday.
Under the deal, Cofco Tunhe will cooperate with Xingguang, a
private refiner based in Shandong province, in sugar trading,
utilizing Cofco's background, and use Xingguang's capacities in
developing and producing sugar products, the statement said.
The partnership is a sign of further consolidation of the
sugar sector in the world's largest market for the sweetener,
said Xu Sheng, an analyst with Huatai Futures.
"In the future, very likely there will be only several big
sugar companies in China, with state-owned companies
dominating," Xu said.
The partnership also comes ahead of a government
announcement on import tariffs on foreign sugar on May 22,
following a months-long anti-dumping probe that started last
China earlier considered special duties on sugar imports
over the next three years, starting this year.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Josephine Mason; Editing by