Archer Daniels Midland Company reported net earnings of $460 million for the first quarter (ending September 30, 2011) of the fiscal year 2012, up 33% from the same time in 2010, according to the company's latest report.

Segment operating profit, however, was down 9%, by $699 million. “The first quarter presented a difficult and challenging market environment,” said ADM Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz. “Margin conditions in our global oilseeds segment were generally weak and net corn costs were high. We offset some of these pressures with good management of our commodity positions and by capturing opportunities through our broad and diverse portfolio.”

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Oilseeds processing profit declined $87 million, but ADM’s diverse oilseed portfolio helped offset some of this weakness, said the company. Corn processing profit decreased $162 million as net corn costs more than doubled from 2010; net corn costs for the quarter were negatively impacted by economic hedging benefits recognized in prior quarters. Agricultural services profit, however, increased $112 million on strong global merchandising results, including a strong recovery of exports from the Black Sea region. Other businesses improved by $71 million on the strength of improved cocoa press margins and smaller losses in the captive insurance subsidiary.