ADM reports significant Q2 improvement in ethanol earnings

By Erin Voegele | July 27, 2021

Archer Daniels Midland Co. released second quarter financial results on July 27, reporting that earnings for its Carbohydrates Solutions segment, which includes ethanol, were almost double those reported for the same period of last year.

ADM’s Carbohydrates Solutions business includes two segments. The Starches and Sweeteners segment includes ethanol from the company’s wet mills, while the Vantage Corn Processors includes the ethanol dry mills.

During an earnings call, Ray Young, chief financial officer at ADM, said the company’s Starches and Sweeteners segment, including ethanol production from the wet mills, delivered substantially higher year-over-year results, driven by approximately $90 million in positioning gains across the ethanol complex and more normalized results from corn oil. Ethanol margins improved when compared to the second quarter of last year, driven by a resurgence in driving miles in the U.S., Young added.

“Vantage Corn Processors results were much higher than the second quarter of 2020 supported by the resumption of our two dry mills, improved fuel ethanol margins, and favorable performance in USP-grade industrial alcohol from our Peoria complex,” Young continued.

Looking ahead, Young said tightening corn markets and the resulting effect on ethanol margins is expected to result in the Carbohydrates Solutions business segment reporting lower third quarter earnings when compared to the same period of last year. For the full year 2021, however, the segment is expected to report results that are substantially higher than last year.

ADM’s Carbohydrate Solutions segment reported $383 million in adjusted operating profit for the second quarter, up from $195 million during the same period of last year. Starches and Sweeteners reported $306 million in adjusted operating profit, up from $177 million, while Vantage Corn Processors reported $77 million in adjusted operating profit, up from $18 million.

Overall, ADM reported second quarter adjusted segment operating profit of $1.16 billion, up from $804 million during the same period of last year. Adjusted earnings per share reached $1.33, up from 85 cents per share during the second quarter of 2020.