Cargill on January 9 reported net earnings of $556 million in its fiscal year second quarter ended November 30, 2013, up 36 percent from $409 million in the year-ago period. First-half earnings were $1.13 billion, down 19 percent from $1.38 billion a year ago.

Second-quarter revenues decreased 7 percent to $32.9 billion, which brought first-half revenues to $66.7 billion


"Cargill posted a solid second quarter, with earnings improved in three of our four segments," said David MacLennan, Cargill's president and CEO. "We also oversaw the opening of several new investments that support customers' growth and success." The company's results were supported in part by 2013's improved crop production. The impact on supply and demand caused prices for agricultural commodities to come down from last year's highs, providing relief to Cargill's animal nutrition and protein segment.

The Food Ingredients & Applications segment was up slightly from the year-ago period; it also was the largest contributor to second-quarter results. Earnings in Animal Nutrition & Protein rose significantly. Agricultural supply chain results decreased from the year-ago period, due in part to an industry-wide buildup in oilseed crush capacity that reduced crush volumes in certain markets, including South America. Earnings in Industrial & Financial Services increased slightly.