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ADM, Bunge say Ukraine operations normal; monitoring situation

By Tom Polansek

CHICAGO, March 3 (Reuters) - Bunge Ltd and Archer Daniels Midland Co, two of the world's top agricultural trading houses, on Monday said political tensions in Ukraine, a major grain exporter, were not affecting operations but that they were monitoring the unrest.

"We have not seen any significant impact to business and continue to monitor the situation," ADM said in a statement.

U.S. grain futures have climbed on concerns about potential trade disruptions in Ukraine.

ADM, which has port facilities, an inland grain elevator system and an oilseed processing plant in Ukraine, said its primary concern was the safety of its employees. All were safe, according to the company.

Bunge said its businesses were "operating normally in Ukraine" and that the company would monitor the situation. Bunge has a port in Nikolaev, a crush plant and packaging facility in Dnepropetrovsk, and an office in Kiev.

Grain traders have focused their attention on Ukraine as tensions have mounted amid Russian military intervention on the Crimean peninsula.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that Russia and Ukraine will export a total 26.5 million tonnes of wheat in the 2013/14 marketing season, or 17 percent of global shipments. In corn, Ukraine alone is forecast to export 18.5 million tonnes, or 16 percent of total exports.

Ukraine will ensure that political turmoil does not reduce spring grains sowing, the country's new agriculture minister said.