Dependent development in South America: China and the soybean nexus

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This article examines the expansion of the soybean complex in South America and the role of Chinese firms in expanding their presence in different sectors of the oilseed complex. The growth in trade relations between the two parties has been built on the export of primary commodities from South America and the import of Chinese manufactures – a trade pattern that reproduces core-periphery dynamics identified by dependency theory scholars. Of particular importance in this bilateral trade is soybean, a crop that has been consolidated as the main export for several South American countries, fuelled by growing demand from China. This article explores China’s role in the global political economy as a key agri-business player and the implications for new relations of dependency by studying the strategies deployed by Chinese firms to increase their influence in the governance of the soybean nexus.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2019

Bibliographical note

Maria Eugenia Giraudo is Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre (IGDC), Department of Politics, University of York.

© 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.


  • China
  • Latin America
  • dependency
  • commodities
  • trade
  • agribusiness
  • sino-latinoamerican relations

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