(Updates with details, market background)
Aug 22 (Reuters) - Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International Ltd has scooped up the sugar trading book of rival Bunge for an undisclosed amount, the companies said on Wednesday.
The sale is the latest in Bunge’s efforts to reduce its exposure to a struggling sugar unit, which the company first said in 2013 it was looking to sell. Bunge said earlier this year it would seek to sell its trading operations separately from its production assets in Brazil.
Sugar prices have plunged as production outstrips demand, leaving the world awash in excess supplies. Benchmark futures of raw and refined sugar fell to their weakest levels in a decade this week.
The sale includes both raw and refined sugar contracts, Wilmar said in a filing. The company, which is a major user of raw sugar as well as a producer, has been expanding its footprint through purchases of mills as well as new trading ventures in the last several years. The acquisition from Bunge is not expected to have any material impact on the company’s current financial year, according to the filing.
In March, Wilmar said it had not held talks with Bunge over the sugar trading business but also declined to comment when asked if it had considered acquiring the unit.
Bunge, a major global player in the trading and production of sugar, has been seeking to exit the business since 2013. The White Plains, New York-based company still owns mills in Brazil, the world’s top producer and exporter of the sweetener.
Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York and Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru, editing by Louise Heavens and Steve Orlofsky