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Commodity markets set for high volatility, says Louis Dreyfus By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO A French farmer harvests wheat in Rumilly (northern France), July 13, 2020. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol//File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) – Commodity markets face a period of intense volatility as they grapple with the effects of the pandemic, uncertainty over macroeconomic policy and supply chain disruption, the chief executive of Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) said on Tuesday.

Michael Gelchie stated that prices for agricultural commodities have increased sharply. This trend contributed to LDC’s reported higher first-half profits, however, they remain far below the peak seen a decade ago.

Gelchie stated that unlike in 2010, 2011 and 2011, we could be in for a prolonged period of volatility.

He said that continued waves of COVID-19 and shipping congestion, as well as questions about when the U.S. Federal Reserve would begin to taper monetary support, were fueling volatility.

Gelchie explained that there has not been a “normalization of the supply chain” yet.

He said that a wider rise in energy and commodity prices was also indicative of a shift to a low carbon economy. “The infrastructure that supports that costs money” he explained.

LCD, one the biggest agricultural commodities merchants in the world announced on Tuesday that it saw a significant rise in their first-half profits, supported by stronger demand and higher prices.

Gelchie refused to discuss the prospects of the group for the remainder of the year. He noted that prices remain high and the crush margins for oileeds are strong.

LDC’s financial situation has been eased further by the successful sale to ADQ of its stake in LDC. This transaction brought in the first shareholder outside the family in LDC’s 170-year-old history as an agricultural commodity group.

Gelchie stated that the deal with ADQ allowed LDC’s parent to repay $1billion from its operating group. However, she did not give details.

ADQ now has four seats on the expanded nine-member supervision board, which is headed by principal shareholder Margarita Loui-Dreyfus.

LDC is also a party to the deal.

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