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NEWS IN BRIEF

Cargill buys maker of Agrol in Rogers

Cargill Inc. has acquired BioBased Technologies in Rogers from its owner, Johnelle Hunt.

The Minneapolis company pointed out in the release that BioBased Technologies fits well within its own soybean-based products that replace petroleum-based products in furniture, bedding and automotive seats. The Rogers company's signature product line, Agrol, offers an alternative to petroleum-based compounds used in polyurethane foams.

In a release, the company said the acquisition will allow Cargill to "expand into applications beyond the foam market, such as elastomers, sealants, coatings, binders and adhesives enabling increased sustainability efforts across those industries."

"I am thrilled with the acquisition of BioBased Technologies by Cargill," Hunt said. "Cargill is an amazing company, and I know it will bring even greater success to BioBased and its customers."

BioBased Technologies was originally established in 2004 by the late J.B. Hunt and Tom Muccio.

-- Emma N. Hurt

Governor puts April's jobless rate at 3.5%

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in a news conference Thursday that the state would set another record for low unemployment.

The unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in April, the governor said citing information from the state Deparment of Workforce Services. That would make it the fourth-straight monthly record. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has yet to release state-by-state jobless-rate figures for April.

"Our civilian labor force rose. Those participating in the labor force has increased," Hutchinson said. "I'm delighted with that good news."

The rate was 3.6 percent in March, 3.7 percent in February and 3.8 percent in January.

Since 1957, as far back as data are available, Arkansas' unemployment rate has not been as low as 3.8 percent until this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was 4.4 percent in April.

Thursday's news conference focused on a website to solicit public feedback on state government. Hutchinson had formally announced earlier in the week that he would pursue a second term, in part to continue creating jobs.

-- Brian Fanney

State index up 1.26 as 11 stocks climb

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, rose 1.26 to 319.86 Thursday.

Eleven stocks advanced, and seven declined.

Wal-Mart closed up 3.2 percent with more than 19 million shares traded.

ArcBest also rose 3.2 percent on more than double its average volume.

Dillard's dropped 3.3 percent in light trading.

Deltic Timber was off 2.7 percent in heavy volume.

Total volume for the index was 32.9 million shares.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 05/19/2017

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