October 7, 2019 / 8:29 AM / 10 days ago

Commodities trader Louis Dreyfus sees tough 2019 after H1 profits slip

PARIS, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Louis Dreyfus’ first-half net profits fell as it faced headwinds including international trade tensions and a swine disease epidemic, with the commodity merchant warning that its markets would remain tough for the rest of the year.

Privately held Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), one of the world’s largest traders and processors of farm commodities, said on Monday that its first-half net profit from continuing operations fell to $73 million from $91 million in the same period last year.

“We see these adverse market conditions persisting during the second half of 2019 and expect a recovery in profitability in 2020 as we continue to implement our business plan,” Chief Executive Officer Ian McIntosh said in a statement.

Commodity houses have been grappling with lower profits from sourcing and shipping crops such as grains and oilseeds, with a trade dispute between China and the United States, along with the spread of African swine fever in Asia, adding to pressure.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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