Profit and sales fell sharply this spring for CHS Inc. as the farmer-owned co-op grappled with the trade war and adverse weather.
The Inver Grove Heights-based co-op, a global grain, energy and food company, said Monday its profit for the quarter that ended May 31 was $54.6 million, down from to $181.8 million in the same period a year ago.
The comparison was made more difficult because CHS had a one-time gain of about $124 million in the year-ago period.
Revenue fell to $8.5 billion from $9.1 billion a year ago. CHS blamed international trade uncertainty — the trade war with China is now more than a year old — and weather for the decline.
"The uncertainty of the international trade markets continues to create difficult circumstances for all who work in agribusiness," Jay Debertin, the company's chief executive, said in a statement. "Weather challenges led to late planting that has hurt our owners."
It's been a tough stretch for agribusiness giants. Cargill's profit in the most-recent quarter fell by 67%, the company said last week, citing the same challenges.
The energy division at CHS earned $92.7 million less than a year earlier, in part thanks to scheduled maintenance on a refinery in Kansas.
Agriculture profits fell by $39 million due to lower margins and volumes for grain and oilseed, heavy snow and rainfall that not only delayed planting but made shipping on the nation's waterways more difficult and expensive, and "continuing global trade tensions," the cooperative said.
"We traveled throughout our trade territory this spring to meet with our owners, and every location we visited was impacted by heavy spring rains and late planting," Debertin said.
Profits over the first nine months of the cooperative's fiscal year were higher, however.