- AustraliaNorth AmericaWorld
ASX Agriculture Stocks: 5 Biggest Companies
Food security is rising in importance globally, and investors watching this trend are eyeing the agriculture market. Here's a look at the top five ASX-listed agriculture stocks by market cap.
The agriculture sector is one of the largest and most important industries in the world.
In recent years, the space has faced the environmental challenge of soil and biodiversity erosion caused by climate change, and new geopolitical tensions have only amplified this issue. Ukraine is a major exporter of wheat, corn and seed oils, and its production has been curbed due to Russia's invasion. Meanwhile, Russia and Belarus are facing sanctions.
These circumstances and others have led to higher prices for various fertilisers.
Looking at Australia, agriculture is an important industry. Exports reached a record AU$92 billion for the country in the 2022/2023 period, and although a decline in value is projected in the 2023/2024 segment, it will still be third highest on record.
With these circumstances in mind, investors may want to consider adding ASX agriculture stocks to their portfolio. Below the Investing News Network has listed the top agriculture stocks on the ASX by market cap. All data was gathered using TradingView's stock screener on October 30, 2023, and market caps were above AU$1 billion at the time.
1. BHP Group
Market cap: AU$228.35 billion; current share price: AU$45.11
BHP Group (ASX:BHP) is a diversified global miner that operates in a broad range of jurisdictions and produces a basket of commodities. In terms of potash, the company is working toward production at its fully owned Jansen potash project in Saskatchewan, Canada. Potash is a key ingredient in fertiliser for the food production market.
The asset is projected to become one of the largest potash producers in the world. Output from Stage 1 is expected to begin late in the 2026 calendar year, and is set to come in at 4.35 million tonnes of potash per year.
In October 2023, BHP approved a US$4.9 billion investment for Stage 2 at Jansen. Stage 2 is expected to come online in the company's 2029 fiscal year; once the full ramp up is complete, the mine's potash production capacity should reach 8.5 million tonnes per year.
2. Incitec Pivot
Market cap: AU$5.34 billion; current share price: AU$2.72
Incitec Pivot (ASX:IPL) specialises in manufacturing and distributing industrial chemicals, fertilisers and explosives. The company plays a significant role in supporting the agriculture industry by providing fertilisers that enhance crop yields.
Its subsidiary Incitec Pivot Fertilisers manufactures ammonium phosphate fertiliser at the Phosphate Hill plant in Northwest Queensland. The site also includes a phosphate mine and ore processing facility.
In its 2023 annual report, Incitec reported earnings of AU$153 million from its fertiliser business. However, the company also discussed its plan to exit the sector, looking toward a potential sale of its fertiliser business. If this comes to pass, the purchasing company would add a significant operation to its portfolio.
Market cap: AU$1.67 billion; current share price: AU$4.30
Nufarm (ASX:NUF) is an Australian agricultural chemicals company whose operations are in Eastern Canada. Nufarm is focused on providing crop protection solutions to help farmers fight against pests, weeds and diseases. Its leading seed technology, BeyondYield, is aimed at developing better crops from the earliest stages of farming.
In September 2022, the company announced the expansion of its bioenergy platform by signing an agreement to acquire energy cane assets from GranBio. Energy cane is a novel cane crop that was made to produce 150 percent more biomass compared to conventional sugar cane, and Nufarm intends to use it to serve the biofuels market.
In the report for its 2023 fiscal year, Nufarm reported after-tax net profit of AU$111 million, up 3 percent from the previous year.
Market cap: AU$1.53 billion; current share price: AU$6.80
GrainCorp (ASX:GNC) is an Australian agribusiness company whose focus is on the storing, handling and production of grains, edible oil, biofuel materials and animal feed. As an international company, GrainCorp sources its products from Australia, Ukraine, the UK and Canada, and its marketing team is in East Asia.
GrainCorp has worked to support both global and local communities. As of September, its GrainCorp Community Foundation had awarded over AU$400,000 in 2023 grant funding to 48 community groups across Australia and New Zealand.
The company announced "outstanding" results for its 2023 fiscal year, reporting AU$565 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation; AU$401 million came from the company's agribusiness vertical.
Market cap: AU$1.44 billion; current share price: AU$3.10
Costa (ASX:CGC) is Australia’s leading horticultural company and a major produce supplier for food retailers. Costa grows, packs and markets produce, and 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.
In September 2023, the company entered an agreement to be acquired by New York-based private equity firm Paine Schwartz. If it goes through, Costa will be delisted from the ASX in Q1 2024.
This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2022.
Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australiafor real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Matthew Flood, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Matthew Flood is a writer and editor from Montreal, Canada. He's been writing professionally for four years on a wide array of topics ranging from investments and real estate to cookware and home improvement. Matt also enjoys creative writing and has written two novels and a novella.
Learn about our editorial policies.