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Marubeni Corp. said Friday it has concluded a cooperation deal with leading Brazilian agri-food company Amaggi Exportacao e Importacao for the procurement of soybeans, corn and other grains to enable stable supplies for Japan and China.

The new partners also agreed to consider joint investment in port facilities in South America to enable smoother exportation of the farm produce, Marubeni said.

The agreement is aimed at securing stable supplies of farm products without relying on major U.S. agri-food companies, Marubeni sources said.

Amaggi owns 215,000 hectares of proprietary farmland on which it grows soybeans that are not genetically modified organisms. It also has extensive procurement routes through which it secures products from farming households situated near its farms.

The two companies are aiming to increase the annual volume of non-GMO soybeans and other grains such as corn that they will jointly procure to 1 million tons in 2010, a volume equal to 3 percent of Japan’s annual imports of the products, Marubeni said.

Brazil is the world’s second-largest producer of soybeans.

Amaggi is keen on tapping the Japanese and Chinese markets by teaming up with Marubeni, given that its shipments to the European market have leveled off, the sources said.

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