Japanese conglomerate Marubeni is set to buy US grain trader Gavilon in a deal that continues the recent consolidation in the agribusiness sector.

Marubeni said today (29 May) it would pay US$3.6bn for Gavilon, which handles commodities including grain, oilseeds and dairy products. The company will also reportedly take on Gavilon’s $2bn in debt.

The deal, which is expected to close in September, will see Marubeni attain over 140 grain terminals in the US and sites in Brazil, Australia and Ukraine. Marubeni handles 55m tonnes of grain a year, up from 25m tonnes, it said.

“Global grain trade volumes are expected to continue to grow given the strong demand coming from developing nations, particularly China,” Marubeni explained.

In March, Switzerland-based commodity supplier Glencore revealed it had agreed a deal to buy Canadian agribusiness group Viterra for C$6.1bn (US$5.96bn).

Earlier this month, Louis Dreyfus Commodities announced plans to issue bonds for the first time in its history as it prepares to step up acquisitions.