Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest commodities traders, has launched a downsizing which could eliminate about 4,000 jobs, people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
The 150-year old family-owned company, could also close two of its offices as agricultural companies fend off slumping global prices, falling demand in China and weakness in emerging markets, the report said.
Cargill declined to comment to Reuters but later told a Minnesota-based radio station WCCO that the report stems from the recent announcement that two executives are retiring soon, referring to the departure of Vice Chairmen Paul Conway and Emery Koenig Friday.
The company is "working on recalibrating their business," another industry source, a banker told Reuters.
The company, along with three other giant multinational firms dominates the flow of agricultural goods around the world. Known as the ABCD group because of their initials, Archer Daniels Midland Co, Bunge Ltd, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Corp account for between 75 percent and 90 percent of the global grain trade, according to estimates.
As the global farm economy slows, large agricultural companies are looking to uphold their margins by cutting costs and consolidation. Monsanto Co, the world’s biggest seed company said it would slash 2,600 jobs in October. Farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co also announced job cuts, according to reports.
Cargill had hived off its U.S. hog business to Brazilian meat packer JBS SA in July.
However Ken Morris, a former Cargill employee told Reuters that the last time the company’s last major restructuring was about 15 years ago. "Headcount reduction and Cargill just don't go in the same sentence," he added.