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Cargill appoints new shipping head in further freight shake-up

LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) - Commodities trader Cargill has appointed a new head of its shipping business, weeks after announcing it would close its London freight unit amid a worsening global seaborne market.

The dry bulk sector, which transports commodities such as coal and grain, continues to suffer from too many ships available for hire and slowing demand for goods, especially from top importer China, which has led to freight rates slumping to record lows.

Cargill, a leading shipping player, said on Friday Jan Dieleman had taken the helm since March 1 of its ocean transportation business, succeeding Roger Janson who had run the division since 2011.

Dieleman, who had run Cargill’s North America power and gas business since 2014, will operate from the group’s freight headquarters in Geneva.

Dieleman said in the statement he would work with the global team “to continue growing our business ... despite the challenging times on the freight markets”.

Cargill said in January it would shut its London shipping office, citing the distressed state of the dry freight market.

Janson, a veteran figure in shipping, will head Cargill’s agricultural supply chain business in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Last year, privately held Cargill Inc streamlined its executive team to speed up decision making and launched a restructuring that included job cuts. (Reporting by Jonathan Saul; Editing by David Holmes)

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