The US agribusiness giant today reported net earnings of $425 million from December 2014 to February 2015, compared to the $319m it accrued in the same period a year previously.
But revenues in the third quarter tumbled 11% to $28.4 billion.
Gilles Houdart, global additives marketing manager for Cargill's animal nutrition business, told FeedNavigator there were good inroads for gut health and mycotoxin control products in China, India, Russia and Latin America.
“This is driven by raised awareness of antibiotic reduction and mycotoxin issues in those markets as well as a growing recognition of the need to continuously improve animal production standards,” he added.
In November 2014, he told this publication Cargill's animal nutrition division plans to triple its feed additive output by 2020 with the progressive global shift away from antibiotic growth promoters set to fuel such development.
“We anticipate the expansion in this segment will come about mainly through organic growth but we will remain open to all opportunities that will arise over the next five years and would not rule out moving in the direction of acquisitions to support such growth ambitions,” said Houdart back then.
The company has also been increasingly focusing on natural antioxidants, looking beyond their mere usefulness as partial vitamin E replacers and appraising their benefits in overall animal performance, particularly in the early life stage.
And the feed additives manager said the increasing amount of data available now showing the multiple occurrence and synergistic interplay of mycotoxins in feed grains is also concentrating the minds of its additive development experts, who he said are actively exploring ways to tackle this challenge.
Meat business does well but ingredients hit
Cargill’s meat business was also said to be a critical factor in the hike in earnings in the quarter, supported by a strong performance in Australian beef processing, Central American poultry, and US pork and turkey operations.
The commodities group said its animal nutrition operations in Venezuela, however, incurred a charge related to that country’s revision of its currency exchange system.
Cargill divested a feed yard in Texas during the quarter - a move it said was related to the idling of a beef processing plant in that state in 2013. It also closed a turkey slicing and packaging facility in Missouri, moving production to two other company locations.
The commodities trader said the results for its food ingredients business was down compared to the same period a year ago, due to the 'macroeconomic headwinds' the division faced in several regions. The strong value of the US dollar against the depreciating currencies like the euro and the Brazilian Real were also reported to have hit that segment's earnings.
Record crops, strong export demand and improved US logistics boosted the agribusiness group's core grain trading and processing division.