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ADM shakes up global commodities trading business

Reuters

SINGAPORE/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co <ADM.N> has become the latest global agricultural trader to undergo senior management changes as the sector grapples with a grain glut that is depressing prices.

The chief executive at the U.S.-based firm's trading arm in Asia, Frederik Groth, has left the company, two traders and a company source said on Friday.

In November, Patrick Heijbroek became the company's global head of grain trade, a change from his experience trading vegetable oils earlier in his career, according to his LinkedIn profile.

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson said on Friday the company does not comment on personnel matters.

The changes come after a volatile year for global commodity traders, with bumper crops in major growing nations like the United States and production shortfalls in South America jarring markets for corn <Cc1> and soybeans <Sc1> and intensifying competition among merchants.

Losses stemming from ADM's global trading desk contributed to a 53 drop in first quarter profit last year.

Groth came to ADM via German-based commodity trader Toepfer International, where he served as CEO of its Asia unit from 2012 to 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile.

In June 2014, ADM took full ownership of Toepfer after amassing an 80 percent stake and renamed the nearly century-old company as ADM Germany.

Heijbroek formerly worked as a senior trader for COFCO Agri, according to his LinkedIn page.

Last week, COFCO Agri, the international grains business of China's state run COFCO Corp [CNCOF.UL], said that Matt Jansen had resigned as CEO after 18 months.

Kevin Brassington, COFCO Agri's global head of grains and oilseeds, also left, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Jansen and Brassington formerly worked for ADM.

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore, Dominique Patton in Beijing, and Tom Polansek and Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by P.J. Huffstutter and Bill Trott)

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