RUSSIA— Agri commodity trader, Bunge has agreed to sell its oilseed processing business in Russia to Karen Vanetsyan, the controlling shareholder of Exoil Group.
The sale includes the sunflower processing plant in Voronezh Region, the company noted. Bunge opened the plant in in 2008 at a cost of more than US$130 million.
It can process 540,000 tonnes of oilseeds and produce over 200 million bottles of sunflower oil per year. Bunge CIS’s portfolio includes the Oleina, Ideal and Maslenitsa brands, among others.
“We are grateful to the team for continuing to deliver essential food and feed in this challenging environment. With Karen Vanetsyan’s more than 25 years of experience in agricultural processing, we are confident the team will continue to successfully serve customers,” commented Greg Heckman, Bunge’s CEO.
Russia and Ukraine supply nearly a third of the world’s wheat exports, a fifth of globally traded corn, and roughly 80% of the world’s supply of sunflower oil.
Bunge, one of the leading players on the world food market, first set up a division in Russia in 2004. Bunge CIS increased its net profit to 1.9 billion rubles (US$31 million) in 2021 from 1.3 billion rubles (US$21 million) in 2020 on revenue up 60% to 30 billion rubles (US$490 million) from 19.1 billion rubles (US$312 million).
In April of this year, the global farm commodities merchant reported a higher quarterly adjusted profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast by 21% on robust demand and tighter supplies of essential crops since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company has been scaling back its Russian grain trading activities in recent years, including the sale of its Rostov grain export terminal last year.
Together with its rivals Archer-Daniels-Midland Co, Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Company, the so-called ABCD four global grain traders, began to wind down their operations in Russia in March, following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
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