BUSINESS

Cargill, Agribusiness Giant, To Lay Off 2,000 Employees Globally

12/04/2011 11:21 am ET

U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill Inc CARG.UL said it would let go of 2,000 of its employees globally, citing a continued weak global economy.

Minneapolis-based Cargill, one of the world's largest privately held corporations, said the job cuts affect 1.5 percent of its workforce of 138,000 employees located in 63 countries and will take place over the next six months.

"At this time, we do not have any breakdowns. We do know they will not be concentrated in any one city, country or region," Lisa Clemens, a Cargill spokeswoman based in Minneapolis, told Reuters.

The company said the workforce reductions were made on recommendations from various business units and was not a "uniform across-the-board" cut. Cargill added it was making internal structural changes, following a review of its global energy, transportation and metals operations.

On November 30, market sources told Reuters that Cargill's unit, Cargill Ferrous International, was shutting down its physical steel trading desks in Hong Kong and Geneva.

Cargill earnings for the quarter ended August 31 were down 66 percent at $236 million due to economic uncertainty and volatile commodity markets.

The company is providing employees with severance and outplacement support.

(Reporting by Christine Stebbins in Chicago and Vidya L Nathan in Bangalore; Editing by Gary Hill)

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