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Bunge to Sell Russian Oilseed Processing Business

Sale includes sunflower processing plant in Voronezh

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

Bunge has agreed to sell its oilseed processing business in Russia to Karen Vanetsyan, the controlling shareholder of Exoil Group.

The sale includes the sunflower processing plant in Voronezh. Other financial details about the deal were not disclosed.

According to reports, the company has been scaling back its Russian grain trading activities in recent years, including the sale of its Rostov grain export terminal last year.

The Voronezh plant, which opened in 2008, has an annual capacity to process 540,000 tonnes of raw material which makes it possible to produce more than 200 million bottles of sunflower oil.

“We are grateful to the team for continuing to deliver essential food and feed in this challenging environment," said Greg Heckman, Bunge’s CEO.

"With Karen Vanetsyan's more than 25 years of experience in agricultural processing, we are confident the team will continue to successfully serve customers.”

Grain giants scale back Russian operations because of war

Bunge, Cargill, ADM and Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) began scaling back Russian operation in March, following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

At the time, Cargill said the company employed about 2,500 people in Russia, with investments of more than $1.1 billion in agroprocessing.

ADM said its footprint in Russia was very limited and it would "scale down operations in Russia not related to the production and transport of essential food commodities and ingredients."

In March, Bunge had suspended any new export business from Russia, but its oilseed crush plant was still operating and serving the domestic market. Bunge had $121 million in total assets in the country at that point.

On March 4, Louis Dreyfus Co. (LDC) said it suspended Russian operations.

Today, LDC says on its website that grains remain a core business in Russia, where it exports between 1.5 and 3 million metric tons of grains annually.

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