Cargill Inc. is exiting the sugar-trading business as the company continues to reduce its dependence on commodities it has deemed not essential to its main business.

The Minnetonka-based agribusiness officially announced Tuesday the long-rumored agreement to divest its 50% stake in Alvean, the world's largest sugar company. Cargill is selling its portion to Copersucar, a Brazilian-based sugar and ethanol trader that owns the other 50%.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Cargill said the move will allow it to focus on its core food and trading businesses.

"Cargill remains active in both global commodity trading as well as the sugar ingredient business, with business interests in the United States, Mexico and Brazil," the company said in a statement.

The company operates at multiple levels of the global food supply chain. It will continue to sell sugar, sweeteners and sugar-derived products to its customers, which include major restaurants and food manufacturers.

Alvean was formed in 2014 when Cargill and Copersucar combined their sugar-trading businesses. In 2019-2020, the joint venture accounted for roughly 20% of all global sugar shipments, according to Bloomberg.

Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767