(Bloomberg) -- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. is weighing options to exit its main Russian operations, potentially adding to the list of Western agriculture traders pulling back from the world’s top wheat exporter.
The Chicago-based company is reviewing its 50% stake in a joint venture with Russian partner Aston, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The venture, launched in 2018, processes corn to produce sweeteners and starches for the Russian food and beverage industry.
ADM’s possible move comes as rivals Cargill Inc. and Glencore-backed Viterra, the two biggest Western exporters of Russian grain, pull back from the market. The shift will give local firms and Moscow more control over the nation’s vast food resources.
International grain traders in Russia have faced pressure to leave Moscow and the local industry since the invasion of Ukraine.
Read More: Viterra Says It Will Stop Russia Crop Exports, May Sell Assets
While ADM’s Russian business in the country is very limited and largely focused on sweetener operations, the company’s Wild Flavors unit, which makes flavors and colors for the food and beverage industries, also has a presence there.
“The situation in Russia remains fluid, and we will continue to constantly monitor and evaluate our limited activities there,” an ADM spokeswoman said in a statement to Bloomberg, declining to comment further. “We will of course continue to comply with all US sanctions, laws and regulations.”
Russian crops, which are crucial for global agriculture trade and feeding the world, aren’t under sanctions. But flows can be complicated by restrictions on Russian banks and state companies.
ADM last year said it had scaled down its operations in Russia.
--With assistance from Áine Quinn.
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