Bunge Report Weak Q4

Bunge Limited has announced that it is lowering its earnings expectations for the full year ended December 31, 2008. The company's revised preliminary earnings estimate is approximately $1.06 billion, or $7.70 per share.

"Weak fourth quarter results were impacted by soft demand for soybean meal and oil due to challenging economic conditions in our end markets and substitutions of other agricultural commodity products," the company said. Adding: "Farmers were reluctant sellers of crops in expectation of higher prices, while credit constraints affected the Brazilian farm sector and limited sales of fertilizer. Fertilizer segment performance was also impacted by foreign exchange losses of approximately $225 million from the 18% devaluation of the Brazilian real on U.S. dollar-denominated financing of working capital during the fourth quarter. Unlike in agribusiness, where inventories are marked to market, offsetting gains in fertilizer inventories are expected to occur in future quarters when these inventories are sold."