UPDATE 2-Bunge Q2 profit misses forecast, shares drop

Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:25pm EDT
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(Recasts, adds details on second-half guidance, adds quotes, updates with share price)

By Karl Plume

July 30 (Reuters) - Agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd reported a sharply lower quarterly profit due to weak oilseed processing margins in Canada and Europe and an unexpectedly steep drop in demand for its food products in recession-hit Brazil.

Shares of the White Plains, New York-based company plunged more than 5 percent.

Bunge's agribusiness segment - which buys, sells, stores and transports crops and processed products and is its largest in terms of revenues - saw earnings drop 57 percent from the year-ago quarter.

Food and Ingredients segment profit fell 68 percent as edible oils margins and volumes contracted amid rising unemployment, inflation and currency devaluation in Brazil.

But the company forecast a stronger second half of the year on a favorable soybean crushing outlook and as expected large crops in the United States and the Black Sea region should provide Bunge ample supplies for trading and processing.

"The headwinds were strong, but largely temporary," CEO Soren Schroder said.

Although poor Canadian canola margins and weak Brazilian demand for its food products was likely to continue, Schroder noted that the second quarter's agribusiness losses from trading and distribution have already been recovered. Those losses stemmed from a late-June surge in wheat prices that disrupted global export demand, he said.   Continued...