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Cargill bets big on new cargo vessels

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Cargill Inc. has signed a deal with a Chinese shipyard to buy an undisclosed number of new ships for ocean freight, the Star Tribune reports.

The Twin Cities-based agribusiness giant has formed a ship-buying venture with two other equity partners to take advantage of bargain prices.

The newspaper says a new capesize ship can be ordered for about $46 million, that's down more than 50 percent from $99 million in the summer of 2008.

The term "capesize" refers to vessels that had to travel around Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope because they were once too big to go through the Suez or Panama canals.

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