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Agriculture Giants Are Finally Making Money From Trading Again

  • Chinese demand, South American drought are boosting profits
  • ‘It’s a better operating environment,’ Scoular CEO Maass says

The world’s largest agricultural commodity firms are finally making money from trading again.

After years of lackluster returns as bumper crops curbed the volatility traders need to thrive, the stars seem to have aligned for the likes of Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd. China is loading up on American corn and soybeans, profits from oilseeds processing have rebounded, and a drought in Brazil is boosting prices. Even the beleaguered biofuels market is improving.