MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — Buoyed by record-breaking results in its Seed Retail and Processing segment and near-record first-quarter results in all other segments, Ceres Global Ag Corp. achieved the second-best first quarter in its history.

Ceres posted net income of $6.21 million in the first quarter ended Sept 30, equal to 20¢ per share on the common stock, which compared with a loss of $3.59 million in the same period a year ago. Adjusted net income was $6.4 million, up sharply from $337,000 a year ago.

Revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2023 was $216 million, down 17% from $260.11 million in the same period a year ago. The decrease reflected lower commodity prices, the company said.

Ceres said it handled 29.9 million bushels of grain and oilseed in the quarter, up 7.2% from 27.9 million bushels in the same period a year ago.

“Despite extreme weather conditions impacting crop yields, we managed to handle 7% more volume in the first quarter of fiscal year 2024 compared to the previous year,” Carlos Esteban Paz, president and chief executive officer, said during a Nov. 9 conference call with analysts. “Our farmer-direct origination strategy, early crop development analysis and the effective utilization of our asset footprint have allowed us to navigate geopolitical uncertainties and extreme weather resulting in near-record adjusted net income.

“Our joint venture with Berthold Farmers Elevator continues to be a great addition to the Ceres network with volumes increasing by 24% in the first quarter of 2020. This growth is a testament to our proactive positioning in the grain and oilseed markets. Our farmer-direct origination strategy and our ability to maximize the value of our network and assets. Meanwhile, volumes handled of Thief River Falls decreased by 8%, primarily due to lower pharma grain sales. Our previous efforts to improve operational efficiency by negotiating with railroads have yielded positive results as we managed to secure adequate freight capacity and timely rail execution in the first quarter. These operational improvements will set a solid foundation for future harvest.”

Paz said Ceres reached a historic high for quarterly soybean crush volume, surpassing the first quarter of fiscal 2023 by 18.5%. He attributed the growth to timely and proactive soybean procurement as well as the implementation of operational efficiencies at its crush plant in Jordan, Manitoba, Canada.