CHICAGO May 4 The head of grain trading in
North America at commodity giant Louis Dreyfus Co will retire at
the end of the month, two sources with direct knowledge of the
move said on Thursday.
A global glut of grain supply, low prices and limited
volatility have curbed margins for the past two years at Louis
Dreyfus and the other top grains traders that buy, transport and
process crops such as wheat, soybeans and rice.
It was unclear who would replace Executive Vice President
Steve Campbell, 54, when he steps down, said the sources, who
were not authorized to speak for attribution. Campbell's
retirement was planned and voluntary, the sources said.
A company spokeswoman did not reply to requests for comment.
Campbell has been at the company for 25 years and has been
in the grains business for more than three decades.
He leaves at a time when the trading firms are struggling to
deal with oversupply that is set to weigh on the market for
months to come. Recent company earnings from the world's biggest
grain handlers have been disappointing. Dreyfus has revamped
operations while Archer Daniels Midland Co is shaking up
its global trading unit.
"It's a sharp downturn," said one of the sources, a grain
industry executive who was not authorized to speak to the media.
"People are getting fatigued. If they have money, they can
(Reporting by Michael Hirtzer and Karl Plume; Editing by Simon
Webb and Leslie Adler)