COFCO International, the Chinese state-owned global grain trading business that acquired Nidera in February this year, has agreed to sell its Nidera Seeds business to Syngenta, subject to regulatory clearances. Financial terms have not been revealed.

Nidera Seeds is largely based in Argentina and Brazil, with a network of distributors in neighbouring South American companies. It mainly focuses on wheat, corn, sunflower, sorghum and soyabeans. The deal will strengthen Syngenta’s sales in Latin America.

A spokesman for COFCO UK, based in Ipswich, said the deal has no effect on the domestic seed trading operation. The UK business had historically concentrated on cereal seed sales until the 2015 acquisition of Grainseed in North Suffolk added oilseed rape, maize and herbage seed varieties to the portfolio.

 “This agreement is an important step of our strategy to focus on our major businesses,” comments chief executive of COFCO Johnny Chi. “Syngenta is well placed to provide Nidera Seeds a strong platform for further long-term growth, creating best value for its customers, farmers and employees.”

Syngenta’s global seed sales in 2016 were $2.66 billion, or 27% of its total revenues. Latin American sales were $448m in the period, compared to $973m in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and $933m in North America.