MN Cos. With Presence in Egypt Watch Crisis Closely

Companies like Cargill and Carlson are monitoring the events unfolding in Egypt.

Large Minnesota companies that maintain a presence in Egypt are keeping a close eye on the mass protests and unrest rippling through the country.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Minnetonka-based Cargill says the political unrest is affecting all of its normal business operations in Egypt, where it employs about 400 and trades a variety of agricultural products.

According to a report by Reuters, Roger Janson, Cargill's assistant vice president of grain and oilseeds supply chain for Europe, told reporters at a United Nations commodities conference that there has been more buying and stockpiling of food commodities in the Maghreb region during the crisis-but crop shortfalls may have contributed to the issue, rather than any significant trade disruption sparked by the crisis.

In addition, Minnetonka-based Carlson has Radisson Blu-branded hotels in the country, which are operated by the company's global development partner, Rezidor Hotel Group. Joan Cronson, a spokeswoman for Carlson, told Twin Cities Business on Wednesday that the company has a handful of affiliated hotels in Egypt, and the government there is helping facilitate ways for international travelers leave the area.

And according to a story by the Pioneer Press, turmoil in Egypt has caused wheat prices to top $10 a bushel in Minneapolis as traders expect unrest in the country to lead to increased demand for grain. In fact, it marks only the second time that spring wheat futures rose past the $10 mark in the history of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.