UPDATE 2-Cargill, Copersucar to form world's No. 1 sugar trader
* Venture to be 50-50 business between the two companies
* Cargill gains access to sugar in top producer Brazil
* Copersucar expands global footprint
* Venture may limit options for smaller Brazil mills (Adds details, quotes from market sources)
By Sarah McFarlane and Reese Ewing
LONDON/SÃO PAULO, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S.-based agribusiness trader Cargill and Brazil's Copersucar announced plans on Thursday to form a business to create the world's biggest sugar trader through a 50-50 joint venture.
The venture will combine Cargill's trading and logistics expertise and a global customer network that stretches from China to Thailand with supply from Copersucar's vast network of 47 mills, which produce 10 percent of the world's sugar exports.
The deal will catapult Cargill and Copersucar ahead of their major trading competitors, Sucres et Denrees (Sucden), Louis Dreyfus and ED&F Man. Cargill will gain access to sugar in Brazil, the world's top producer, without the financial burden of buying and operating assets, while Copersucar will expand its global footprint and secure Cargill's market know-how, analysts said.
"It's basically the marketing arm of Cargill joining the production arm of Copersucar. They are completely different entities so it's a perfect fit really," said a European analyst. Continuación...