At its September meeting, the CHS Board of Directors made a number of decisions regarding equity management. The following letter from CHS Board Chairman Dan Schurr outlines these decisions:
Dear Cooperative Owner,
CHS was built on the shared values of managing our business with the highest integrity, building lasting and mutually rewarding relationships, and partnering for our collective success.
These values guide every decision your CHS Board of Directors makes on your behalf. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of those owners and employees that came before us, CHS is a cooperative that’s been built for the long haul. Your Board of Directors will ensure that tradition continues. It’s with this spirit that we share recent Board decisions around equity management.
Despite solid performance in our core businesses, a few large events have resulted in substantial fiscal 2017 financial losses in certain patronage-based businesses. These events included a loss attributed to a large producer loan and business unit asset impairments in the United States.
There was a small uptick in phosphate sales ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival in Florida, where the bulk of North American phosphate production is located. Phosphate facilities there shut down as part of their hurricane preparedness plans.
Early reports from manufacturers are that damage at the facilities appears to be limited, but full assessment will take time. Some finished product has sustained water damage but no exact estimates have been released yet.
A major manufacturer expects to be able to resume production fairly soon, but says its third quarter production volumes could be impacted by the storm disruptions. It had stopped making price offers to either domestic or international customers until late Thursday, Sept. 14. The market has reacted and prices moved up significantly late last week.
Several import vessels of phosphates are arriving in the Gulf this month, including one vessel with CHS cargo, which arrived and was unloaded in between hurricanes. Most of that product is now making its way up the river system.
Staff at CHS terminals are busy filling orders and working with accounts to get product in position before the busy harvest season gets underway across the Cornbelt. CHS is working hard to make sure producers are being kept informed of any supply changes or concerns that might arise from the recent storm damage to production facilities or transportation infrastructure.
This satellite image shows the Pacific Northwest smoke and burning areas on September 5, 2017. SOURCE: NASA
Western wildfires have much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana under a thick blanket of smoke. And while the smoke is cancelling and rescheduling sports activities, it is also causing concern for the state’s ranchers.