| SAO PAULO, April 28
SAO PAULO, April 28 CHS Inc, the
biggest U.S. agricultural cooperative, is among the largest
creditors of Brazilian commodities trader Seara Ind e Com de
Produtos Agropecuários Ltda, which filed for bankruptcy
protection last week, two sources with knowledge of the
situation told Reuters on Friday.
CHS confirmed it was a creditor of Seara Ind e Com but
declined to give specifics.
The two sources, who asked for anonymity since the exact
numbers are not public, estimated CHS credits with Seara - not
to be mistaken with Brazilian meatpacker JBS's processed foods
unit Seara SA - to be around $200 million.
Seara Ind e Com filed for bankruptcy protection last week
asking to restructure 2.1 billion reais ($662 million) in debt.
Seara manages farms, provides rail and road transportation
for grains and trades soybeans and corn produced by farmers or
delivered by cooperatives in four Brazilian states.
The company is headquartered in Sertanópolis, a small town
close to Londrina, the second-largest city in Brazil's
agricultural powerhouse state of Parana.
CHS, which has headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, said in
a statement to Reuters that it "maintained a grain origination
relationship with Seara for several years" but was surprised by
the company's decision to seek court protection against
"CHS Brazil and CHS Inc. leadership are actively managing
the situation to understand and respond to any potential impact
to our business and our employees," it said.
CHS said it expects "shipments of products to arrive as
scheduled and that would remain in contact with customers
regarding product orders and shipments," it said.
International commodities traders in Brazil usually maintain
business relationships with regional commodities companies
aiming to source grains volumes destined for export markets.
In a statement last week, when it filed for bankruptcy
protection in the regional court in Londrina, Seara said
Brazil's economic crisis, particularly tight credit markets, had
sharply undermined its ability to maintain operations.
($1 = 3.1718 reais)
(Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Bill Trott)