Bunge Ltd. reported a surprising first-quarter loss, sayingit had bet wrongly on a drop in wheat prices.
Bunge saw a $27 million loss in the first quarter of 2014 and cited a 55 percent slump in its trading and distribution division. It says political turmoil in Ukraine had affected its strategy.
“We expected a lower price environment, particularly in wheat, which did not materialize,” Bunge Chief Executive Soren Schroder said in a Reuters report. “Political turmoil in the Black Sea and deteriorating winter wheat conditions in the U.S. were the primary catalysts for the wheat rally, which ignored the more-than-adequate global stocks.”
Bunge lost 18 cents on a per-share basis, missing analysts’ expectations of a $1.40-per-share profit on average. It had earned a profit of $170 million a year earlier.
Profit in Bunge’s agribusiness unit, which includes trading and distribution, fell to $79 million for the quarter.