ADM Sells Brazil Ethanol Ops

HOUSTON (DTN) -- Archer Daniels Midland Company announced it has reached an agreement to sell its sugarcane ethanol operations in Limeira do Oeste, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, to JFLim Participaçoes S.A.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter, includes a sugarcane plantation and ethanol distillery capable of producing 37,000 gallons of ethanol per year, ADM said in a release.

"We regularly review our asset portfolio to determine how best to maximize shareholder returns, and in this case, we have determined that our sugarcane ethanol operations in Brazil are unlikely to meet our long-term returns objectives," said Chris Cuddy, president of ADM's corn processing business unit.

"As our sole sugarcane ethanol operation in Brazil, this asset is too small for ADM to compete effectively in a challenging ethanol environment."

Continued Cuddy, "ADM is continuing to invest in Brazil, which is a major center for our global operations. Brazil is one of the world's most important producers of agricultural products, and will be critical to feeding a growing global population in the coming years."

ADM employs about 3,900 people in Brazil, where the company processes soybeans in five facilities and sunflower at another, and markets the bottled oil brands Concordia, Corcovado and Vitaliv. The company also operates Brazil's largest biodiesel plant and more than 40 elevators, jointly owns an export terminal in Barcarena, and has a concession to operate a terminal at the Port of Santos. ADM is now building a soy protein production complex next to the company's existing soybean plant in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul.