US food and agribusiness Bunge has said it is maintaining its 2005 net income guidance of US$485m to $505m, or $4.05 to $4.22 per share.

The company said weak operating conditions in the Brazilian fertilizer industry are expected to persist for the remainder of the year.  And as a result of the expected completion of a legal restructuring initiated with the 2004 buyout of minority interests, Bunge expects to realise approximately $40m in tax benefits in the fourth quarter of 2005, assuming a stable Dollar/real exchange rate.

However, unlike 2004, and current analyst consensus, the company said it does not expect to earn the majority of its second-half net income in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Bunge North America, the company's North American operating unit, announced operations are underway at its export elevator in Destrehan, near New Orleans. The facility was shut down on 27 August 2005 because of mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Katrina.