The insolent profits of the 4 global agricultural trading giants
A record year for the year 2021 for the four giants of the global grain and agricultural commodities trade, namely Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus. These companies, which form the “ABCD” square, together achieved net profits of approximately $10.3 billion for total revenues of $328 billion.
in 2021, the agribusinesses all saw a significant increase in earnings compared to 2020. Bunge, for example, saw a nearly 75% increase in profit from $1.14 billion to $2 billion over the past year. For their part, ADM and Louis Dreyfus recorded increases of 52.5% and 82% respectively to $2.7 billion and $697 million.
As for the Cargill group, its net profit reached a level never seen in its 156-year history. The world’s leading agricultural trader made $4.93 billion in profits, erasing its previous record of $3.95 billion set in 2008.
Overall, all traders benefited from the general rise in world grain and vegetable oil prices in the wake of strong global demand in a context of supply tensions. While vegetable oil prices rose by 65.8%, grain prices jumped by 27.2%, driven by corn and wheat.
Nevertheless, if the year 2021 has been successful for the leaders of the agricultural trading sector, many experts anticipate new important financial results this year for the majority of the players in the ABCD square.
It is clear that the volatility of grain and oilseed prices linked to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia as well as the strong demand from importing countries to build up reserves should maintain the growth prospects of traders.