UPDATE 2-Soy crushing margins in China to improve -Bunge CEO
(Updates with clarification on comments about sale of mill assets)
By Gustavo Bonato
BARCARENA, Brazil, April 25 (Reuters) - Poor soy crushing margins in China that have led the country to default on soy purchases are short term and should improve in two to three months, Bunge Ltd's chief executive officer says.
CEO Soren Schroder was in Brazil for Friday's inauguration of Bunge's new terminal in Barcarena on Brazil's northern coast. The terminal, in the state of Para, cost 700 million reais ($314 million) to build and has a capacity of 4 million tonnes.
"Margins in China are bad for everyone," Schroder said at a dinner late on Thursday. But he said the problem is short term.
Schroder said the long-term trend is for China's soybean demand to increase, though he did not explain why he sees improvement for Chinese crushers in two or three months.
Chinese importers have canceled at least 500,000 tonnes of soybeans purchased from Brazil and the United States in recent weeks, according to Asian market sources, as buyers have struggled to get credit amid losses in processing beans.
Weaker soy demand from China puts one of Brazil's main sources of trade income at risk at a time the South American country's economy is slowing. Brazil, the world's top soybean exporter, sends the vast majority of its soy shipments to China.
Raul Padilla, who will take charge of Bunge's Brazilian operations next week, said China had not canceled any Brazilian soybean purchases from the company. Continuación...