ADM shakes up global commodity trade

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SINGAPORE / CHICAGO (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co ADM.N became the last global agricultural trader to undergo leadership changes as the sector grapples with a grain glut that drives down prices.

The world’s largest corn mill from global grain company Archer Daniels Midland is pictured in Decatur, Illinois on March 16, 2015. REUTERS / Karl Plume

The managing director of the U.S. company’s Asian trading arm, Frederik Groth, has left the company, two traders and a company source said on Friday.

In November, Patrick Heijbroek became the company’s global head of grain trading, a change from his experience in the vegetable oil trade earlier in his career, according to his LinkedIn profile.

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said on Friday the company was not commenting on personnel matters.

The changes come after a volatile year for global commodity traders, with bumper crops in key growing countries like the United States and production shortfalls in South America disrupting corn markets. Nc1 and soy Sc1 and increased competition among traders.

Losses from ADM’s global trading desk contributed to a 53% drop in profit for the first quarter of last year.

Groth came to ADM through Germany-based commodities trader Toepfer International, where he served as CEO of its Asia unit from 2012 to 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In June 2014, ADM took full ownership of Toepfer after having amassed an 80% stake and renamed the nearly century-old company to ADM Germany.

Heijbroek previously worked as a senior trader for COFCO Agri, according to his LinkedIn page.

Last week, COFCO Agri, the international grain company of Chinese state-owned COFCO Corp. [CNCOF.UL], said Matt Jansen stepped down as CEO after 18 months.

Kevin Brassington, COFCO Agri’s global head of grains and oilseeds, has also left, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Jansen and Brassington previously worked for ADM.

Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Dominique Patton in Beijing and Tom Polansek and Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by PJ Huffstutter and Bill Trott


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