SAO PAULO, April 26 (Reuters) - Cargill Inc is part of a group of grain trading companies analyzing whether to build Brazil’s Ferrogrão railway, which should require investments of up to 15 billion reais ($4.8 billion), O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Luiz Pretti, Cargill’s chief executive officer in Brazil, told Estado in an interview that members of the consortium that could participate in the Ferrogrão project are in touch with the government to discuss its feasibility.
Ferrogrão railway will allow Brazilian grains to be shipped out of ports in the North of the country, Estado said. Pretti reiterated Cargill’s plans to invest up to $127 million in the country this year to grow operations amid a bumper crop.
Cargill press representatives were not immediately available to confirm the content of Pretti’s comments to Estado.
The Brazilian unit of U.S.-based Cargill invested 3.8 billion reais in the country over the past six years, O Estado wrote, adding Latin America’s largest economy is Cargill’s second most important market.
According to results published in O Estado’s Wednesday edition, Cargill’s consolidated net income jumped 61 percent to 670 million reais last year as Brazil’s agribusiness segment “continued to expand and has been, for the most part, resilient to economic challenges.”
Cargill originated, processed and traded 24 million tonnes of products in 2016 and destined 75 percent to export markets, it said. Net revenues were virtually stable at 32.3 billion reais last year.
Earlier in April, Brazil’s agricultural statistics agency Conab raised the estimate for the country’s 2016/2017 soybean crop for a fourth time. The agency also rose corn output forecasts in the season.
“It is an important long-term project, but it hinges on the conclusion” of a nearby highway, Estado quoted Pretti as saying about Ferrogrão.
$1 = 3.1476 reais Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernard Orr