From crop technology to packaging and distribution, the agricultural industry is one of the largest and most important industries in the world.
The price of fertilizer has jumped this past year due to the economic sanctions on Russia and Belarus as well as restrictions on exporting to China. With it, the prices of potash and phosphate have jumped as well. The agriculture sector has already been faced with environmental challenges of soil and biodiversity erosion as climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only amplified this.
With Ukraine being a major exporter of wheat, corn, and seed oils, the rest of the world has been forced to adapt as the country has been under the distress of the Russian invasion in February 2022. Additionally, the heightened focus on defeating climate change has encouraged many companies to switch gears to clean energy and the implementation of greener technologies to help create a sustainable future.
With all of this in mind, it may be a good idea to watch agriculture stock prices. The Investing News Network has listed the top agriculture stocks on the ASX by market cap. All data for the list of the top stocks was gathered from TradingView’s stock screener and was correct as of October 5, 2022. Market caps were above AU$1 billion at the time.
1. BHP Group
Market cap: AU$ 202.95 billion; current share price: AU$40.50
BHP Group (ASX:BHP), formerly BHP Billiton, is a Melbourne-based international base metals and materials mining and production company. The company mines potash, specifically muriate of potash, at its fully owned Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada. Potash is a key ingredient of fertilizer for the food production industry. The project is expected to become the largest potash producer in the world.
Over the summer, BHP accelerated the work on the Jansen mine and aims to begin production from the mine by 2026. At the beginning, the mine would produce 4.35 million tonnes of potash per annum, but production will ramp up to 12 million tonnes.
Market cap: AU$1.91 billion; current share price: AU$5.11
Nufarm (ASX:NUF) is an Australian agricultural chemicals company based in Melbourne, Australia, and its operations are based in Eastern Canada. Nufarm is focused on providing crop protection solutions to help farmers globally fight against pests, weeds and diseases. Their leading seed technology BeyondYield is aimed at developing better crops from the earliest stages of farming.
This month, the company announced the expansion of its bioenergy platform. Nufarm officially signed an agreement with GranBio to facilitate the acceleration of the global energy cane expansion. The process would use the biomass from sugar cane as a renewable energy source.
Market cap: AU$1.90 billion; current share price: AU$8.58
GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) is an Australian agribusiness company based in Sydney, Australia. For over 100 years the company has helped food growers and producers to connect with clientele locally and around the world. GrainCorp has a focus on the storing, handling and production of grains, edible oil, biofuel materials and animal feed. As an international company, GrainCorp sources its product from Australia, Ukraine, the UK and Canada, and its marketing team is in East Asia.
GrainCorp is a company of service to both global and local communities. This past September, the company awarded over AU$300,000 in funding to Australian communities through its GrainCorp community foundation grants program.
Market cap: AU$1.94 billion; current share price: AU$12.41
Elders (ASX:ELD) is a leading Australian agribusiness company with a focus on assisting farmers in every area of farming to maximize their agricultural business through specialized products, consulting, and financial services. Farmers are able to buy and sell farming products, real estate and livestock through Elders.
In September of this year, Elders facilitated Australia’s largest ram sale where 600 merino and poll merino rams were sold at an average of AU$2,689 each.
Market cap: AU$1.04 billion; current share price: AU$2.27
Costa (ASX:CGC) is Australia’s leading horticultural company and major produce supplier for food retailers. Costa grows, packs and markets produce as well as provides marketing services for growers. According to the company, it wants to stay true to its original values as a local produce shop by providing fresh food and contributing to the sustainability of the farming industry.
Over the summer, the company announced a partnership with Israeli company Arugga AI Farming to deploy the world’s first robotic pollination of their tomato plants in Guyra, New South Wales. Pollination is done by hand since the use of bumblebees is banned in Australia. After finding flowers ready for pollination, Arugga’s AI pollinators imitate the natural buzz pollination of bumblebees.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2022.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Marlee John, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.