US ADM net earnings decrease on lower margins

31 January 2012 14:56  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US agricultural products processor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) reported second-quarter 2012 net earnings of $80m (€60.8m) on Tuesday – a drop of 89% from the same period a year earlier – as oilseed and corn profits slipped.

“It was a tough quarter. The operating environment was challenging,” said ADM CEO Patricia Woertz.

“Ongoing weakness in global oilseeds margins, lower results in corn and poor international merchandising hurt second-quarter profits.”

ADM said oilseeds processing profit declined $72m to $253m in the quarter ended 31 December, amid continued weakness in the global margin environment.

Corn processing reported an operating loss of $133m – a decrease of $532m from the period a year earlier. The loss reflected $339m in asset impairment charges related to the abandonment of a renewable plastic production project in Clinton, Iowa. Without the asset charge, corn processing operating profits were $206m.

Overall net corn costs were up, reflecting economic hedging benefits recognised in the previous year, ADM said.

The sweeteners and starches segment's operating profit decreased $46m to $73m.

ADM said export demand for sweeteners remained strong, although higher net corn costs more than offset higher average selling prices and increased sales volumes.

Ethanol margins were good in December, when they declined significantly as industry production increased and exports declined, ADM said.

($1 = €0.76)

Read Paul Hodges’ Chemicals and the Economy blog


By: Frank Zaworski
+1 713 525 2653



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