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Strong exports help CHS earnings jump 31%

Strong export demand helped the nation’s largest agricultural cooperative, CHS, achieve its highest revenue in nearly a decade.

CEO Jay Debertin tells Brownfield the 2021 fiscal year ended August 31st with earnings of $554 million, a 31 percent increase compared to the prior year and the best total net income since 2014.

“Led by our ag segment, and that kind of makes sense (when) you look at trade conditions around the world, trade really operated this last year at a much higher level and velocity. And CHS and local cooperatives that own CHS were really in a great position to take advantage of it on behalf of the people that own us.”

He says fertilizer market volatility will be a major factor in fiscal ’22.

“I think supply issues are increasingly becoming a larger part of the puzzle within the fertilizer markets, largely driven by natural gas prices across the world. As well as coal impacts, particularly in China.”

Debertin says while most segments of CHS were profitable this past year, the energy business suffered a pretax loss of more than $10 million because of demand shocks related to the pandemic.

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