Cargill has worst quarter in years

US agribusiness giant Cargill yesterday reported its worst quarter since 2001, posting a worse than expected 88 per cent slump in quarterly earnings from continuing operations to $100m. The company, which has announced plans to lay off 1.5 per cent of its staff and has parted ways with its top sugar trader, is suffering alongside other commodity heavyweights that have struggled to profit amid a year of exceptional volatility. Cargill, one of the first US firms to report this earnings season, said revenues rose 17 per cent to $33.3bn.