Global agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) reported strong profits across its three major business units including its oilseed division in 2020, according to a World Grain report on 27 January.

Operating profit in the Ag Services and Oilseeds Segment had increased 9% in 2020 to US$2.11bn, while profit in the fourth quarter had risen 13% to US$834M, the report said. Within the segment, Ag Services operating profit had surged 65% year-over-year to US$828M, while crushing profit had fallen 20% to US$466M and refined products and other had decreased 25% to US$439M, the report said.

“(The Ag Services and Oilseeds team) achieved multiple records, including an all-time-high in global crush volumes,” ADM’s chief financial officer Ray Young was quoted by World Grain as saying.

“In addition, we’re proud of the team that brought our reserve export facility back online safely and ahead of schedule despite dealing with multiple severe weather events this year. Looking ahead, we expect the first quarter of 2021 results for Ag Services and Oilseeds to be significantly higher than the prior year first quarter, driven by extremely strong North American export demand and continued healthy crush margins.”

During a conference call on 26 January, ADM president and CEO Juan Luciano was quoted by World Grain as saying that the company expected 2021 to be a “very, very strong year” for the Ag Services and Oilseeds segment.

“Our Ag Services and Oilseeds team delivered outstanding results in 2020, crossing the US$2bn profit mark. With continued strong global demand for grains and oilseeds as well as meal and oils, we are confident in another outstanding performance from Ag Services & Oilseeds in 2021.

The company expected continued strong soyabean crush, according to Luciano, who also said that a new renewable green diesel capacity was also having an impact on soyabean oil demand and margins.

Overall, the company had delivered a 28% increase in year-over-year income in 2020, World Grain reported, with net income in the year ended 31 December 2020 totalling US$1.77bn, up from US$1.38bn in 2019. In the fourth quarter, earnings had totalled US$687M, up 36% from US$504M in the same period the previous year.