CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Global commodities trader Cargill Inc is launching a new business unit focused on animal and human health products as part of a reorganization of its animal nutrition business, the company told Reuters on Wednesday.
Cargill said its animal nutrition and health group will now consist of three units: Cargill Animal Nutrition, combining its existing feed, nutrition and pre-mix businesses; Cargill Aqua Nutrition; and the new Cargill Health Technologies.
This marks the latest reorganization effort by the Minnesota-based firm, as a sour farm economy, adverse weather and an ongoing U.S.-China trade war have dragged on profits for global agricultural companies.
The move also comes as Cargill has shuttered animal-feed mills in China, in part because the rapid spread of the fatal hog disease African Swine Fever (ASF) has reduced demand.
Cargill's animal nutrition and protein businesses have been under pressure in recent months, as poor weather disrupted U.S. Midwest cattle shipments and ASF reduced hog feed demand in China.
The new unit will focus on "specialty health ingredients, building a digestive and immune business for humans and animals," the company said in a statement.
Chuck Warta, currently president of Cargill's animal nutrition and pre-mix business, will head up the new unit.
Adriano Marcon, president and group leader for Cargill's aquaculture business globally, will be in charge of Cargill Animal Nutrition. Pilar Cruz, president of its compound feed business, will head up Cargill Aqua Nutrition.
The company is set to report its fiscal 2020 first quarter earnings on Thursday. The company said the reorganization will not change how Cargill will report its different business segment earnings on Thursday.
In July, the company reported a 41% drop in adjusted quarterly profit for its fourth quarter, citing supply disruptions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war and also flooding in the central United States that hit marketing and transportation of grains and livestock. (Reporting by P.J. Huffstutter, additional reporting by Tom Polansek, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)