Cargill’s CEO Is Concerned About U.S. Farmers as Tariffs Persist

09:36AM Jan 22, 2020
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(Bloomberg) -- Cargill Inc. welcomes the first phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement but cautions that exports of some agricultural goods have yet to resume and tariffs are still in place.

“I’m still concerned about U.S. farmers and the agricultural economy,” Cargill’s chief executive David MacLennan said Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.

U.S. farmers have been some of the biggest victims of the Trump administration’s trade war with China. Tariffs on agricultural products, such as soybeans, have led to China turning to alternative suppliers in South America. This has put pressure on U.S. prices.

Minnesota-based Cargill will look to make more changes to its holdings including the potential divestment of assets, MacLennan said, without mentioning specifics. The company recently divested its $10 billion investment unit CarVal Investors LLC.

“The portfolio is dynamic,” he said.

There are no plans for an initial public offering of the agricultural trading giant, he said, adding that the families which control the firm -- founded in 1865 -- have no plans to sell their stakes.

Cargill represents the C in the so-called ABCD quartet of global agriculture firms. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Louis Dreyfus Co. are the other members.


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