ADM positioned well for long-term growth, exec says

by Eric Schroeder
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PARIS — With an asset base well-suited to handle today’s crop, Archer Daniels Midland Co. is expanding its network in anticipation of greater volumes that will result from the cultivation of new land, implementation of advanced technologies and better farming practices, said John Rice, executive vice-president, Commercial & Production, ADM.

Mr. Rice, speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Global Consumer & Food Retail Conference held June 10 in Paris, elaborated on the long-term value of ADM, based in Decatur, Ill.

"We are adding to our elevator network," he said. "In recent months, we acquired, leased or expanded operations in the U.S. to support increased corn, wheat, soybean and soybean originations. At the same time, we are continually improving elevator operations to increase throughput and lower our operating costs.

"We are also upgrading our export and import capabilities to enable more efficient loading and unloading of vessels, which will reduce the merge cost, increase dispatch revenue and increase our barge utilization. And we are in the process of expanding our South American barge fleet by 50% and adding to our origination network to improve our sourcing capabilities in an increasingly important region."

Mr. Rice also said ADM is evaluating the potential to increase its ownership in ocean-going vessels.

"This origination, transportation and logistics network is designed to serve customers as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, while addressing our customers’ most pressing concerns — food security, product quality and timely shipments," he said.

In the processing operation side of its business, ADM continues to show flexibility in corn, Mr. Rice said.

"Today, ADM can produce 24 products from a single kernel of corn," Mr. Rice said. "And while a large percentage of that corn is used to make ethanol and sweeteners, every additional product we manufacture enhances the total value of these processing operations. That is why we are working to add new products that respond to market demands."

Beyond corn, Mr. Rice said ADM is expanding oilseed capacities and crushing, refining, bottling and low trans fat production. The company also has begun operating the recently acquired rapeseed plant in Germany, is evaluating opportunities for additional capacity additions in Eastern Europe and South America, has expanded fertilizer blending capacity in Brazil and Paraguay, and recently acquired a bottling facility in Peru.

"ADM has decades of experience in managing through ever-changing business cycles in both favorable and challenging times," Mr. Rice said. "Our industry acumen, unparalleled global asset base, flexible processing operations and strong customer relations serve us extremely well."

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