U.S. Crystal Sugar stock hits new high

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GRAND FORKS, ND — American Crystal Sugar Company’s stock prices hit a record high of $4,216.98 per share during the 2021-2022 selling season, brokers said.

Grand Forks, North Dakota-based Acres & Shares broker Jayson Menke said sales traded across three companies totaled 4,375 shares. It is not known how many additional sales are transferred privately.

American Crystal, based in Moorhead, Minnesota, has about 2,600 shareholders who grow about one-third of the country’s sugar beet acreage, in the Red River Valley of Minnesota and North Dakota.

Chris Griffin, president of Red River Land Co., also in Grand Forks, whose company also trades stocks for American Crystal, said the strong values ​​were likely caused by higher-than-expected returns for the year’s conditions. last and strong fall payment.

“It seems like an overall favorable agricultural environment,” Griffin said.

The farmer-owned co-op permits the planting of beets at a rate of 78% to 83%, so the shares traded represent 3,413 to 3,600 acres, or less than 1% of the total acres planted.

Menke described the co-op’s shares as “thinly traded.”

American Crystal stocks are generally traded from fall to spring. Brokerage sales are handled by Acres and Shares, Red River Land Co. and FNC Ag Stock LLC. With the low number of sales traded each year, “one or two aggressive buyers or sellers can drive the market up a few hundred dollars a day,” Menke said.

The previous record year for stock sales was the 2012-13 season, when 3,121 shares were sold at an average price of $3,941.32 per share. The 2021 to 2022 crop years have been strong in terms of net farm income, much like the previous record years.

Griffin acknowledged that the average of $3,941 per share in 2012 was worth $4,942.98, taking into account cumulative inflation rates totaling almost 26%. He said it has been two exceptional years.

“When farmers are successful, financially, they like to put money back into their farm, whether it’s buying beets or buying land,” Menke said. “Those are two of the avenues to invest back.”

This year, the first sale of the season was on August 31, 2021, at $3,800 per share. The final sale of the season took place on April 27, 2022, at $4,200. Sales are usually made before the May board meeting, to be approved by the co-op’s board.

The highest traded sale prices occurred on November 8, 2022, at $4,650 per share. A total of 48 shares were traded at this price, along with 60 shares at $4,600.

Those peak sales – Nov. 5 to Nov. 15 – came around the time of the plant’s district meetings where shareholders hear about projected beet payouts per ton. There were a total of six sales at $4,500 per share, totaling 56 shares.

Sales dipped to $4,400 in late November, then bottomed out at around $4,100 per share in late December and early January before gradually rising.

  • A year ago, there were 4,830 stock sales traded, for an average of $3,739.25 per share, with a range of $3,500 per share to $3,950 per share.
  • The five-year average of traded sales is $3,494.37 per share, with an average of 4,369 shares sold.
  • The 10-year average of shares traded sold is $2,929.70 per share, with an average number of shares traded at 4,462.
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