Corn Products International has said that it expects first-quarter earnings per share to decline 35-40% compared to the first quarter of 2004, due primarily to a combination of factors that affected its US and Canadian business.

The company said net corn costs for the quarter were significantly higher than last year’s first quarter, energy and freight costs were higher compared to the first quarter of 2004, and manufacturing expense problems occurred during the quarter.

“We are comparing US and Canadian first-quarter 2005 results to a very strong first quarter of 2004, which included the lowest corn costs for all of last year. However, in addition to the expected increase in net corn and energy costs, the unanticipated manufacturing and freight expense issues contributed to results that were lower than our expectations. Mexico and our other two regions, South America and Asia/Africa, got off to a good start in 2005,” said Sam Scott, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Corn Products International is one of the world’s largest corn refiners and also supplies food ingredients and industrial products derived from the wet milling and processing of corn and other starch-based materials.