ADM’s oilseeds and corn processing contribute to 37% profits boost

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: North america

Grain processing giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has reported a 37 percent rise in profits in the third quarter on the back of strong growth in its oilseeds and corn processing businesses.

In the third quarter ended March 31, ADM reported net profit of $578m or $0.86 a share, up from $421m or $0.65 a share for the same period last year. Revenue was up 33 percent to $20.08bn, the company said.

ADM also had to deal with volatile commodity markets during the quarter, and widespread political unrest, which led to uncertainty in grain supplies.

ADM chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz said: “Against a backdrop of volatile commodity prices, a challenging margin environment and geopolitical instability in the Middle East, North Africa and Côte d’Ivoire, our team worked smart and hard and delivered strong results.”

ADM results are considered an important bellwether for agribusiness as a whole, as the company is active as a buyer or seller in every part of the industry. Its corn processing division’s earnings nearly doubled as volume rose 13 percent, on increased demand for sweeteners, starches, and lysine, an animal feed additive.

Meanwhile, strong North American results underpinned a $107m rise in profits in its oilseeds processing division.

Woertz added: “Overall, global demand for crops and agricultural products remains relatively strong. In these conditions, ADM will use our unique global asset base and strong balance sheet to serve vital needs, efficiently connecting the world’s growers with the world’s buyers, and delivering value for our customers and our shareholders.”

ADM noted that global demand for crops and agricultural products continues to grow, and there is steady demand for protein meal worldwide. In addition, Mexico is leading higher demand for corn sweetener in North America, the company said, and volumes have risen, although operating profit for sweeteners and starches has remained “essentially flat”​ as higher prices and volumes were mostly offset by higher corn costs.

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