Our agricultural operations encompass 665,000 acres of land, which correspond to BRL 3.3 billion in assets under management. Mainly intended for the production of grains, sugarcane and cattle breeding, these areas are distributed in the main producing states and connected to the principal Brazilian highway and railway outflow corridors.
2017 was marked by a record crop in Brazil, with an increase of approximately 30% in total grain production. The global demand for soy continued to grow, led by China, which imported 93 million tons of grain in 2017, representing growth of over 10% compared to 2016.
The participation of the five ports of the Arco Norte (located in the states of Maranhão, Pará, Bahia and Amazonas) in the export of Brazilian grains has climbed from 17% to 26% in the last five years, which has also benefited the outflow of grains produced by our operations.
Our planted grain area was reduced by 6% between the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 crops, to 185,000 acres. However, our production reached approximately 237,000 tons, growth of 20% on the same comparison base, reflecting productivity gains. The area dedicated to sugarcane increased 10%, to 54,000 acres, and production in the areas operated by the company reached 274,000 tons, practically in line with the previous crop. In livestock activity, we closed 2017 with 16,400 heads of cattle sold, a volume 6% higher than the previous year. As a result of these factors, our agricultural production closed 2017 with a net revenue of approximately BRL 256 million, 12% higher than the 2016 figures.
A slight reduction of approximately 4% in the harvested area is expected for the Brazilian grain crop in 2018, after the record crop in 2017. Soy should continue to lead Brazilian agricultural production representing about 50% of the total volume of grains produced in the country. For the 2017/2018 crop, we will expand our area destined for grain production to 240,000 acres, an increase of 28% compared to the previous crop.
We remain focused on our strategy to combine an increase in production with continuous operational efficiency gains and with converting areas for more productive uses (pastures for production of grains and sugarcane). We are also closely monitoring any market opportunities to expand our investments and volume of assets under management in the segment.