MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — A “very strong first quarter” has Ceres Global Ag Corp. off to a good start in fiscal 2022, said Robert Day, president and chief executive officer of the company.

Net income in the first quarter ended Sept. 30 totaled $8.77 million, equal to 28¢ per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $936,000 in the same period a year ago. EBITDA in the quarter was $15.38 million, up sharply from $1.62 million.

Revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $208.37 million, up 21% from $172.1 million in the same period a year ago.

Ceres said it handled 31.6 million bushels of grain and oilseed in the quarter, up 12% from the same period a year ago.

“A very strong first quarter has Ceres off to an excellent start to our fiscal year,” Day said. “Diversification over the past few years, relentless focus on our customers, and our ability to successfully navigate through a generational drought and volatile grain markets contributed to our strongest quarter on record. In addition to the record financial performance, we made significant progress on our growth and development; specifically, advancing the transformational canola crush project that was announced in May 2021.”

The canola crush project that Day referenced is a $350 million integrated canola processing facility in Northgate, Saskatchewan, Canada. Once operational the facility will have the capacity to process 1.1 million tonnes of canola and refine more than 500,000 tonnes of canola oil, for both food and fuel, Ceres said.

The facility is expected to be operational by summer 2024 and is expected to result in the creation of over 50 full-time jobs in Saskatchewan, which is the largest canola producing province in Canada.

Ceres said it has ordered major equipment for the facility and has begun design and engineering work.

Ceres also said it completed the expansion at its Jordan Mills soybean crush plant in Manitoba in July, increasing the plant’s production capacity by 50%. According to Ceres, the facility crushes more than 2.7 million bushels of soybeans annually, providing a stable marketing option for Manitoba and Saskatchewan soybean growers. The mill uses mechanical extraction to produce express soymeal and soybean oil, both of which are consumed in Western Canada as important ingredients in livestock feed.

“Looking ahead, we expect favorable conditions to continue through the second quarter,” Day said. “With strong demand and limited supplies, we expect to continue realizing opportunities through effective trading and positioning, and we anticipate that will level off in the second half of the year as supplies diminish.”