CHICAGO, May 4 (Reuters) - 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 retire.”
Reporting by Michael Hirtzer and Karl Plume; Editing by Simon Webb and Leslie Adler