Archer Daniels Midland's first-quarter earnings have plummeted 53% as agricultural prices and demand slumped.

The US-based agribusiness giant said profits for the three-months to 30 September fell to US$496m, down from $1.05bn a year earlier.

Net sales dropped 29% to $14.92bn, dented by lower selling prices, declining demand and the strength of the dollar.

However, CEO Patricia Woertz emphasised that earnings were "significantly" better than the second half of last year.

"Looking ahead, we see demand improving in some key markets, and we have the assets and acumen to capture value as the global economy resets," Woertz commented.