UPDATE 2-Bunge shares sink 14 pct as CEO predicts difficult year
(Adds drop in stock price, comments from conference call)
By Tom Polansek
CHICAGO Feb 11 (Reuters) - Bunge Ltd expects a challenging year in 2016 due to slumping U.S. farm exports and processing margins, Chief Executive Officer Soren Schroder said on Thursday, as the global grain trader reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.
Shares sank 14 percent in morning trading to their lowest levels since 2010.
Bunge came under pressure after the company joined Archer Daniels Midland Co and Cargill Inc in detailing the pain from sluggish U.S. exports. Both rivals recently reported weak results.
Demand for U.S. grain has declined as strength in the U.S. dollar and massive global supplies have increased competition for business from South America and other parts of the world. U.S. farmers have put crops into storage, rather than selling them to trading houses, as they wait for prices to recover from low levels.
The United States "is a big challenge for the next couple of quarters," Schroder told analysts on a conference call.
Instead, Bunge will be banking on profits from exports and processing operations in South America to benefit the company.
Bunge is a major player in Brazil and Argentina, which increased grain shipments after new President Mauricio Macri eliminated taxes on corn, wheat and soy exports. Continuación...