Tight ethanol margins squeeze ADM

Source: Dan Piller, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Archer Daniels Midland reported fiscal first quarter earnings of $182 million, or 28 cents per share, down from $460 million, or 68 cents per share in the same period one year earlier.

The company said “corn Processing profit decreased $115 million as continued negative ethanol margins more than offset improved results from sweeteners and starches.”

ADM has a soybean processing facility in Des Moines and ethanol and grain processing plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton.

“Our first-quarter segment results were mixed,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “Oilseeds performance was strong, the ethanol industry experienced sustained negative margins, and Agricultural Services managed well through a complicated quarter, challenged by the drought.”

ADM said its soybean and soy oil divisions ”reported a crushing and origination operating profit of $256 million, up $150 million from the year-ago quarter on strong improvements by all three geographies.

“ADM’s U.S. soybean operations delivered very strong results amid good U.S. demand and meal exports,” the company said in a statement.