Bunge posts first-quarter loss on weak grain trading results

Thu May 1, 2014 7:44am EDT

May 1 (Reuters) - Agribusiness giant Bunge Ltd posted a first-quarter net loss on Thursday on losses in it grain trading and distribution business and poor oilseed processing margins in China.

Bunge reported a net loss of $27 million, or 18 cents per share, compared with net earnings of $170 million, or $1.15 per share, in the same period a year earlier.

Revenue fell 9 percent to $13.46 billion from $14.79 billion a year earlier, missing the consensus analyst estimate of $15.13 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The White Plains, New York-based company said excess supplies of soybeans in China, the world's top importer, dented demand. Also, higher-than-expected global wheat prices due to tensions between Russia and Ukraine and worries about U.S. winter wheat crop damage squeezed grain trading margins.

Losses in Bunge's sugar milling business due to hedging losses further dragged on the company's results.

Bunge shares on the New York Stock Exchange were inactive in premarket trade after closing at $79.65 per share on Wednesday. (Reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)