Grain companies see hopeful signs

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Two international grain companies posted stronger quarterly earnings, but Bunge continues to struggle.


Cargill Inc. reported a 14 percent rise in quarterly profit as strong beef demand and ample supplies of cattle lifted earnings for its animal nutrition and protein segment for a fifth straight quarter.


The company’s meat sector offset weaker results for its grain handling and processing business.


Louis Dreyfus said profit for the first six months of the fiscal year rose 18.5 percent, thanks to corporate restructuring and better results in its oilseeds and rice business as well as merchandising.


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However, Bunge’s quarterly profits fell 34 percent on weak results from its South American operations. The company last month announced a cost cutting and restructuring plan designed to reduce expenses by $250 million by the end of 2019.


All the companies have been suffering from over-supplied grain markets and weak prices, but they all have said they expect the sur-plus will start to lessen next year.

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