Great Reboot

Bunge CEO says not closing Argentina plant at Ramallo port

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Bunge CEO Soren Schroder said on Wednesday the company does not plan to close a soy crushing plant at its Ramallo port in Argentina, contradicting a union that said last week it had been notified of the closure.

Schroder said in a phone interview Bunge was negotiating with the union to ensure it had competitive staffing and did not deny plans to lay off 60 workers, calling them “only part of the staff.”

He said the plant would likely be down for annual maintenance sometime soon but “the intention is for the plant to run in the future.”

“It’s a competitive plant and a good port – so long as we can secure competitive staffing,” Schroder said.

The Workers’ Federation of the Industrial Oilseed Complex, which represents employees at Argentina’s soy crushing plants, said Bunge notified employees on July 23 that it would shutter a mill at the port and lay off 60 workers.

Bunge reported a surprise quarterly loss on Wednesday after being caught wrong-footed in the soybean futures market with bets that a trade war between the United States and China would be averted.

Reporting by Karl Plume; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by David Gregorio