Cargill profits rebound sharply from decade low
Cargill rebounded from its worst quarter in a decade to one of its best, as the return of dire harvests to the top of food industry priorities played to the strengths of a group caught out by last year’s politically-swayed markets.
The US agribusiness giant, one of the world’s biggest private companies, reported earnings of $975m for the June-to-August period, its best result since the tail end of the last grain price spike four years ago.
Indeed, Cargill earned nearly as much in the period as in the whole of its previous financial year, a factor chief executive Greg Page said reflected demand by customers for surety of agricultural commodity supplies at a time when poor weather has damaged harvests in the European Union, former Soviet Union and US.
“Now more than ever Cargill is using our knowledge and market insight to help customers manage in this time of tighter supplies,” Mr Page said.
Cargill said that, overall, the impact of the US drought had been “mixed”, providing setbacks to US crop exports, an important earner for the group, while setting up the group’s meat production businesses “for a challenging year” as they negotiate elevated feed prices.