Jul 25, 2023
Archer Daniels Midland Co. released second quarter financial results on July 25, reporting strong results for both ethanol and biodiesel operations. Robust margins for both types of biofuel are expected to continue into the second half of the year.
“Biofuels demand continues to remain strong,” said Juan Luciano, chairman and CEO of ADM, during a second quarter earnings call. “Through the first half of the year, we saw robust margins from biodiesel, strong demand for ethanol and an increasing demand for vegetable oil from renewable green diesel. We expect these trends to continue in the second half.”
Luciano said the new soybean crushing facility under development in Spiritwood, North Dakota, is currently scheduled to begin operations during the fourth quarter of this year. The facility, owned by a joint venture between ADM and Marathon Petroleum, will add 1.5 million metric tons of annual soy crush capacity to ADM’s portfolio and produce low-carbon intensity (CI) for Marathon’s renewable diesel facility in Dickinson, North Dakota. “Projects like this will support growing demand for renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel throughout the industry,” he added.
ADM’s Carbohydrates Solutions business segment reported $303 million in operating profit for the second quarter, down from $473 million during the same period of last year. The segment includes the Starches and Sweeteners subsegment, which reported $285 million in operating profit, down from $393 million; and the Vantage Corn Processors subsegment, which reported $18 million in operating profit, down from $80 million.
ADM noted the Carbohydrates Solutions segment delivered strong results, but said results were lower than the record second quarter of last year. The Starches and Sweeteners subsegment includes ethanol production from wet mills. The company said ethanol margins were solid as industry stocks moderated, but were lower than the prior year. Results for the quarter were negatively impacted due to unplanned downtime at one of the company’s corn germ plants. Vantage Corn Processors results were lower due to lower year-over-year ethanol margins. ADM also noted that the second quarter of last year included a one-time $50 million benefit from the USDA Biofuel Producer Recovery Program.
Vikram Luthar, chief financial officer of ADM, said the company is continuing to make progress on its initiatives to decarbonize its Carbohydrates Solutions business, including through its definitive agreement with Tallgrass to capture carbon dioxide from its corn-processing complex in Columbus, Nebraska, and transport it to Wyoming for secure geologic storage. The company’s carbon reduction efforts will allow it to produce low-CI feedstock for use in a variety of applications, such as its joint ventures with LG Chem to produce lactic acid and polylactic acid (PLA).
Overall, ADM reported segment operating profit of $1.53 billion for the second quarter, down from $1.84 billion during the same period of last year. Adjusted segment operating profit was at $1.83 billion, down from $1.85 billion. Earnings per share reached $1.70, down from $2.18. Adjusted earnings per share reached $1.89, down from $2.15.
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