Exclusive: Commodity trader Cargill restructures, cuts jobs - sources

Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:56pm EST
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By Sarah McFarlane

LONDON (Reuters) - Cargill Inc [CARG.UL], one of the world's largest privately held corporations, has launched a restructuring that includes job cuts, one company source and four industry sources said on Friday, the latest casualty of a downturn in the farm economy.

The 150-year-old company, a top commodities trader, is also closing offices, two of the industry sources said.

The cutbacks at the Minnesota-based company come as global agricultural companies are under pressure from slumping commodity prices, slowing demand in China and weakness in emerging markets where Cargill has significant investments.

Cargill may eliminate as many as 4,000 jobs, which would represent about 2.5 percent of its employees, one of the industry sources said.

The company is "working on recalibrating their business," said another industry source, a banker.

A Cargill spokesman initially declined to comment, saying "we typically don't comment on rumors." He later added that he had not "heard anything along the lines of the layoff numbers you mentioned or office closings."

Cargill is among four "ABCD" companies that dominate the flow of agricultural goods around the world, competing against rivals Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd and Louis Dreyfus Corp [LOUDR.UL].

Recently, the companies have faced new competition from trading houses in Asia.   Continued...

A logo is pictured on the building of Cargill International SA in Geneva August 4, 2009. C REUTERS/Denis Balibouse