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Global agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) has reported a US$60M loss in 2023 following the divestiture of its Russian business but has said it would be maintaining its presence in Ukraine.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation declined from US$2.347bn in 2022 to US$2.222bn, the company said on 21 March when announcing its 2023 financial results.

Since stopping grain exports from Russia on 3 April 2023, the company said it had started to sell its business and assets in the country “on terms that satisfy the requirements of the Russian authorities”.

Meanwhile, LDC has maintained its presence in Ukraine, with the company saying it had “no intention” of discontinuing its business in the country for the foreseeable future.

LDC holds total assets of US$211M and total liabilities of US$126M in Ukraine.

The company’s net sales dropped by 15.5% in 2023 to US$50.6bn from US$59.9bn the previous year due to declining global commodity prices.

Segment operating results were US$2.607bn, down slightly from US$2.611bn the previous year.

Net income in 2023 was almost stable at US$1.013bn compared with US$1.006bn the previous year.

“Market volatility decreased in 2023, compared with 2022, as logistical bottlenecks eased, while the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, export quotas in India, the devaluation of the Argentine peso, and concerns about the slowdown in global growth and uncertain crop size prospects continued to cause disruptions,” the 2023 financial report said.

Despite the ongoing geopolitical tensions and climate-related challenges, LDC said its results were “resilient”.

“Both of our business segments contributed positively to our solid results for 2023, successfully navigating a complex environment, thanks to our global network, market insight and risk management capabilities, as well as an ongoing drive for cost and operational efficiency,” LDC CEO Michael Gelchie said.

The Value Chain segment, which includes the Grain & Oilseeds platform, saw operating results of US$1.910M, up from US$1.817M in 2022.

Net sales for the segment decreased 11.4% year-on-year mainly due to the lower price environment throughout the period for grain and oilseeds, LDC said.

Volumes shipped by the Grains & Oilseeds platform were almost unchanged year-on-year.

The Grains & Oilseeds platform delivered a solid financial performance in 2023 amid a challenging context, the company said.

“The platform performed well across its diversified portfolio and wide geographical footprint, with standout performances in global soyabeans and in North America, while in Brazil, a large rise in soyabean and corn production resulted in a combined volume increase of 19% compared to the previous year’s harvest,” the report said.

High crop yields in Brazil, combined with strong demand from China, opened profitable opportunities both at origin and destination for soyabean and corn businesses, LDC said.

The company said its vegetable oils business delivered strong results due to efficient hedging in the challenging market conditions of 2023, marked by a decline in prices, lower volatility and tight palm oil supplies.

Processing activities had significantly contributed to the platform’s improved performance, with strong crushing and crack margins – particularly in North America, and large crop yields in Brazil, LDC said.

The platform’s activities in Argentina were impacted by record low crops for soyabean, corn and wheat following drought, combined with low farmer selling and reduced biofuel processing margins.

LDC said its recently expanded grains activities in Australia further supported the platform’s performance.

As part of its plan to strengthen its core merchandising activities, the company said it had increased its grains and oilseeds processing capacity in China, started work to expand its canola processing complex in China and had announced the construction of a new soyabean processing plant in Ohio, USA.