Shipping remained only the third-largest revenue earner for US conglomerate Seaboard Corp, but it brought in the most operating profits during the first quarter, according to new figures filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The company, which owns Miami liner operator Seaboard Marine, reported $113m in marine operating income during the latest quarter, which marks a 438% jump on the $21m earned in the same period of 2021.

Seaboard said the figure was boosted by higher voyage revenue, which was offset by rising charter and fuel costs, among other expenses.

“Management anticipates this segment will be profitable for the remainder of 2022,” the company said.

The shipping business brought in $466m in net sales, up from $300m a year earlier.

“The increase was primarily the result of higher freight rates due to strong demand, and to a much lesser extent, higher cargo volumes,” Seaboard said.

By comparison, Seaboard’s pork business dug up a $27m operating profit, a decline from the $61m a year earlier.

And despite being Seaboard’s largest segment with $1.57bn in sales, Seaboard’s commodities trading and milling business brought in just $12m in operating income, down from $16m a year earlier.

The rise in profits for Seaboard Marine was not enough to lift groupwide profits, thanks to the declines in other sectors.

Overall, Seaboard Corp reported a net profit of $103m for the first quarter, down from $179m in the same period of last year.

The company said it spent $86m during the quarter to purchase two vessels, without providing details.

However, the disclosure may refer to its November acquisition of the 2,578-teu AS Petulia and AS Palatia (both built 2008) for $34.8m each, according to VesselsValue.

Breaking news email
When major news events break, you can be one of the first to know. Keep on top of market-moving news from the fast-moving shipping industry with TradeWinds’ breaking news emails.

Both vessels, renamed Seaboard Pioneer and Seaboard Pride, were delivered in January from seller MPC Container Ships.

They are the largest ships that Seaboard Marine has owned.

Seaboard reported total marine assets of $854m at the close of the quarter on 2 April, up from $749m in on 31 December.