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Agri-food business brief: Cargill breaks record revenue of US$177B, ADM’s oilseeds quarterly performance dips

August 6, 2023
Food & Drink

Agri-food giants Cargill and ADM have outlined their performances and key initiatives for the recent year and quarter, respectively. Cargill notably hit US$177 billion in fiscal revenues this year, a 7% increase from a year ago. In ADM’s second-quarter results, the supplier saw a slight decrease in North American exports for its agricultural commodities.

Among notable business developments coinciding with its record revenue announcement, Cargill highlights its new joint venture in WayneSanderson Farms, which is “positioning the company to capture growth in North American poultry.”

The US supplier also completed its acquisition of Owensboro Grain Company, which will expand its oilseed crush capacity to meet rising demand, alongside its acquisition of Croda’s bio-based performance technologies business, expanding its portfolio of nature-based solutions for industrial manufacturers.

Additionally, Cargill has committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its North American beef supply chain by 30% by 2030, according to its annual report. The global business is partnering with Nestlé and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to channel around US$30 million into its existing BeefUp Sustainability project.

“This year, we invested more than US$115 million in partnerships to support these and other efforts and we’re committed to driving greater global impact in the years to come,” says Brian Sikes, president and CEO of Cargill.

Feeding livestock with candy leftovers
In its annual review, angled with environmental sustainability developments as the bulk of its messaging, Cargill highlights The Hershey Company “had something it needed to get rid of – leftovers from producing favorites like Reese’s and Kit Kat.” “Cargill had something it needed for its animal feed: the sugar, fat and protein found in candy,” highlights the supplier.

Cargill has positioned itself as a partner for Hershey in producing candy meal from its waste stream using its in-house technology.

“Our dedicated plant in Pennsylvania, US, turns more than 64 million pounds of Hershey’s chocolate waste per year into nutritious feed ingredients for livestock — while helping create a circular economy by diverting food from the landfill,” details the company.

Cargill has also been focusing its attention on biodiesel – a renewable and biodegradable energy source that has been attracting more industry interest, particularly in circular manufacturing models.

It posits: “Have you ever wondered if there was a better way to dispose of the oil left in the pan after you’ve cooked a meal? What if that oil — and similar residues — could be turned into fuel for ships and trucks?”

Cargill claims it is making that possible at its biodiesel plant in Ghent, Belgium. This facility is producing 120,000 metric tons of renewable biodiesel for trucking and ocean transportation customers per year.

That figure is deemed enough to reduce transportation emissions by an estimated 418,000 metric tons.

ADM releases second-quarter results
Results in ADM’s overall Ag Services & Oilseeds segment were still “strong” this second quarter, but slightly lower compared to the same period of last year.

“Ag Services & Oilseeds leveraged recent investments in infrastructure and operations to achieve record origination volumes in Brazil, while Carbohydrate Solutions delivered excellent results across global starches and sweeteners,” comments chairman and CEO Juan Luciano.

“Nutrition achieved strong results in Flavors and drove continued expansion of the customer base and opportunity pipeline, while actively addressing softer demand within other parts of the segment.”

ADM outlines it is progressing in its strategic initiatives connected to decarbonization, which are generating “additional earnings power and growth.”

“Based on our strong first-half results, increased confidence in second-half performance, and our team’s demonstrated ability to execute, we are raising our earnings expectations for full-year 2023,” says Luciano.

South American business surges
ADM’s Ag Services results were “in-line with the strong second quarter of 2022.” South American origination results were higher year-over-year, as the team delivered record volumes and higher margins on strong export demand, leveraging its strategic investments in port capacity to capitalize on the record Brazilian soybean crop.

Results for North America origination were slightly lower year-over-year, driven by lower export volumes due to large South America supplies. This coincides with ADM’s announcement last month that it plans to double its regenerative agriculture land in North America, aiming to cover two million acres in the region by the end of this year and 4 million acres by 2025.

The supplier reports its execution in Destination Marketing as well as effective risk management continued to deliver “strong” Global Trade results, though lower than last year’s record quarter.

Crushing results were much lower than the record result from the second quarter last year. Global soy crush margins remained strong, but were lower year-over-year in all regions due to softer demand for both meal and oil and a tight US soybean carryout.

“This was partially offset by strong softseed margins and higher volumes, supported by a strong Canadian canola crop and use of our flex capacity in EMEA,” highlights the supplier.

“Additionally, there were approximately US$195 million of negative mark-to-market timing effects in the current quarter that are expected to reverse as contracts execute in future periods.”

Refined products see rise
Results in ADM’s Refined Products and Other category were significantly higher than the prior-year period, achieving a record second quarter.

North America results were higher, driven by strong food oil demand and improved biodiesel volumes.

In EMEA, similarly strong export demand for domestic food oil and biodiesel supported stronger margins. Additionally, there were approximately US$90 million of positive mark-to-market timing effects in the current quarter that are expected to reverse as contracts execute in future periods.

The company’s equity earnings from the Singaporean food processor Wilmar were lower versus the second quarter of 2022.

ADM business highlights
In other Food Ingredients First coverage around ADM activities, the supplier recently released its outlook on what’s driving the advancement of the protein ecosystem amid the growing need for expanded protein choice. The new report details factors shaping protein innovation’s future, such as consumer preferences, health and wellness, environmental impact and technological advances.

Last month, the company inaugurated a new Customer Creation and Innovation Center in Manchester, serving as a UK hub for food innovation and building on the human and animal nutrition leader’s presence in the country.

ADM has also recently linked up with Air Protein – a pioneer in air-based nutritional protein that requires no agriculture or farmland – to collaborate on R&D to advance new and novel proteins for nutrition.

By Benjamin Ferrer


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