USA – China’s grain and commodity merchandiser has closed down a soybean and sunflower refining plant in Argentina blamed on trade and economic crisis in the country.
The plant located in Lanus, Buenos Aires is said to have been struggling in operations, partly impacted by the U.S.-China trade war that has led to market and trade losses.
It was experiencing a significant reduction in local demand, unfavorable market conditions and rising idle capacity of the industry.
In a statement, the company said despite the precautionary measures taken to avert the retraction and swings in the economy, ‘it has been concluded that the continuity of the activity is not possible in this context’.
A series of actions implemented in the course of the crisis included sale of assets to another organization and optimization of the number of employees through voluntary withdrawals.
“COFCO International Argentina will then stop participating in the refined oils business- activity that is ongoing until today in its refining, fractioning and distribution plant in the town of Valentín Alsina and will focus investments on guaranteeing the continuity and expansion of the main activity,” read the company statement.
The company indicated that it will continue with the origination, the processing of oilseeds, and the commercialization of cereals and products derived from the grinding of soybean and sunflower, whose main destination is export.
The decision will affect 195 employees working at the facility, who have since been informed of the decision.
The company has contemplated to offer some employees the reallocation of tasks to other plants.
“The Group has been emphatic in that the closure of this plant is an isolated decision that will not have replications in other business units of the organization.
COFCO International Argentina will focus its investments to strengthen its main operation.
This strategic definition will be reflected in the growth of its main activity, in more investments and in the generation of new sources of work,” the company said.
COFCO International is the overseas agriculture business platform for COFCO Corp., a Chinese-based food agriculture company and has 12,000 people in 35 countries.