BayWa, the German group of diversified businesses, reports a strong start to 2011 from its Agriculture division.

Its BayWa Agri Supply & Trade business unit – now rebranded the Cefetra Group – benefited from the continued strength of international agricultural commodity prices. The domestic agricultural inputs business in Germany was positive, compared to the prior year, while agricultural machinery trading set new records.

In the first three months of 2021, Agriculture posted an EBIT of €31.2 million on revenues of €2.9 billion, compared to €9.8m and €2.7bn in Q1 2019. International grain and oilseed trading saw rising prices and higher volatility, driven by import demand from China; unfavourable weather in key growing regions of the world and the threat of lower yields. Fertiliser sales and prices also rose year-on-year, and seed sales were up with a greater planted area in Germany.

These factors gave German farmers to confidence to buy new and refurbished equipment, with German government incentives to invest in precision application equipment playing a part.

The BayWa Group of agriculture, energy and building material businesses reported first quarter pre-tax earnings of €45.1m on sales of €4.3bn, up from a loss of €27.8m and €3.9bn a year earlier.