US agribusiness trader Bunge said on 2 November that it expects record US corn and soyabean harvests to help its earnings rebound from a disappointing third quarter which saw its profits nearly halve, Reuters reports.

Bunge chief executive Soren Schroder said the company expected a "solid fourth quarter" and was confident about its growth prospects next year.

"Going into 2017, our agribusiness, food & ingredients, and sugar & bioenergy segments are looking positive and it is probably the first time we've had that in recent memory,” he said in an interview with Reuters. "We are confident about our growth prospects in 2017.

“Brazil and Argentina should produce record harvests, and with a relatively small volume of crops sold in advance, we expect active commercialisation during the first half of next year. In addition, global demand and trade should remain robust. We expect food & ingredients will build upon its successes in lowering costs, increasing operational efficiencies and expanding market share. Sugar & bioenergy should continue to benefit from a lower cost structure and higher sugar prices."

Schroder said its acquisitions of Group Minsa – a leading corn flour producer in Mexico – and two new oilseed processing plants in northern Europe – would expand its food & ingredients unit.

Bunge’s net income was US$118M in the third quarter ending 30 September, compared with US$239M in the same period last year.

Schroder said the fall was due to challenging market conditions and slow farmer selling in South America, reducing grain origination and soya crushing results.

Its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) was US$199M for the third quarter, compared with US$367M a year earlier, with agribusiness accounting for US$83M (comprising US$79M for oilseeds and US$4M for grains); food & ingredients US$72M, sugar & bioenergy US$35M; and fertiliser US$9M.