Bunge denies plans to scale back in Russia, sell Russian subsidiary

US agribusiness conglomerate Bunge has denied reports that it planned to scale back its operations in Russia and sell its subsidiary Bunge CIS, owner of one of the largest oil extraction plants in the Russian Federation.

“The company has done an internal restructuring but remains under Bunge ownership,” a Bunge spokesperson told Agricensus. “This was simply a restructuring of the corporate entity.”

Earlier Wednesday, Russian news agency Interfax reported that Bunge was reducing its presence in Russia and selling Bunge CIS, citing sources in the Russian agricultural market.

Bunge CIS, which is based in Moscow and operates mainly in the vegoils market in Russia, was founded in March 2004 and has about 850 employees.

It operates the Kolodezyanskoe oil extraction plant in Voronezh region, which opened in 2008 and has a capacity to produce over 200 million bottles of sunflower oil a year.

It also owns some of the most popular brands of Russian cooking oils, including Oleyna sunflower oil and Ideal olive oil.

Bunge sold another Russian asset, the Rostov Grain Terminal in March 2021, with two former top managers of the Novorossiysk Grain Plant and United Grain Company, Marat Shaydaev and Alexey Chemerichko, buying the plant.

“Previously Rostov Grain Terminal was a captive terminal. Currently, we are planning to make the terminal accessible to all market players," Chemerichko said at the time.

In February, the US conglomerate temporarily suspended its Ukraine-based operations at processing facilities in Mykolaiv and Dnipro, after Russia invaded Ukraine, and closed all company offices across the country.

The facility in Mykolaiv was damaged last week when Russian forces bombed the port.

Bunge also operates a dry corn milling facility in the Vinnytsya region, southwest of the country's capital Kyiv, through a joint venture with the Dacsa group.