UPDATE 1-Louis Dreyfus H1 profit halved by commodities downturn

martes 29 de septiembre de 2015 05:41 GYT

* Trading group faces price drop, emerging market woes

* First-half net profit drops by half to $130 million

* Group says higher volumes show food demand resilient (Adds detail, background)

By Gus Trompiz

PARIS, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Weaker commodity markets led to a halving of first-half profit at Louis Dreyfus Commodities B.V. , but the global trading group said its growing volumes showed food could withstand economic pressures better than other raw materials.

Louis Dreyfus, like traditional rivals Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill that dominate trading in agricultural commodities, has been squeezed by falling prices linked to large global harvests and faltering growth in major commodity markets like Brazil and China.

First-half consolidated net profit, group share, fell to $130 million from $260 million in the first half of last year, while net sales dropped to $26.4 billion from $33.7 billion, the family-owned firm said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The external environment remained difficult during the first half of 2015, with some key countries in the agricultural space facing economic (China and Brazil) and political (Black Sea region) uncertainty," it said.

Its traditional rivals each disappointed investors with their most recent quarterly results, citing factors including the downturn in Brazil and poor margins for crop-based ethanol fuel.   Continuación...