|Robert Day, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ceres.|
“Despite encouraging signs early in the quarter, unfavorable market conditions resulted in financial results below our expectations,” said Robert Day, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Ceres. “Export volumes and margins out of Duluth/Superior were a disappointment as U.S. prices of spring wheat and durum were high and less competitive in the world market. Also, due to tight supplies in Canada at the end of the harvest year we were challenged to purchase product at Northgate to fill previously made sales.”
Ceres Global traded and handled 111.1 million bushels of grain and oilseeds, a significant jump compared to 77.4 million tonnes in the same period a year ago.
“While we missed our financial objectives for the quarter, we are encouraged by much of what was accomplished for the year,” Day said. “We closed and wrote down the Buffalo and Duluth Lakeport elevators, but at the same time we achieved our volume objective.”
Ceres completed the construction of its dry fertilizer storage and handling facility at Northgate in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Northgate Commodities Logistics Centre is a grain, agriculture services and oilfield supplies transloading site.
“By significantly increasing our volumes in fiscal 2017 we established several new trade flows and created many additional options around where we source and where we can take product,” Day said. “Having these options going forward positions us to more effectively deal with the kind of market adversity we faced last quarter. As we learn from the past, we are confident margins and overall performance will improve in the coming fiscal year. As such, we continue to focus on the following,”
- Increase origination volume directly from farmers in the United States and Canada;
- Maximize volumes and value throughout our network to lower fixed costs per bushel handled;
- Invest in our infrastructure to broaden our capabilities and ability to handle more commodity product lines, with focus on pulses and specialty crops;
- Extend our reach to customers both in the United States and internationally; and
- Continue to hire quality people to add to our core of talented staff.
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., Ceres Global Ag Corp. is focused on two primary businesses: grain storage, handling and merchandising unit; and a commodity logistics unit.
Ceres operates in two business units, one of which is a grain storage, handling, and merchandising unit anchored by a collection of six grain storage and handling assets in Minnesota, Saskatchewan, Canada, and Ontario, Canada, having aggregate storage capacity of approximately 34.4 million bushels.
Ceres’ Commodity Logistics unit is focused on the development of a Commodity Logistics Centre in Northgate, Saskatchewan, Canada. The Northgate Commodities Logistics Centre is a grain, agriculture services and oilfield supplies transloading site.
Ceres also has a 25% interest in Stewart Southern Railway Inc., a short-line railway with a range of 130 kilometers that operates in Southeastern Saskatchewan, and a 17% interest in Canterra Seed Holdings Ltd., a Canadian-based seed development company.