The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) -- Sugar and sweeteners company Tate & Lyle PLC said Friday that its first-half performance was ahead of expectations, but the company had no news about completing its ethanol plant in Iowa.

Tate & Lyle suspended work in March on the $260 million plant in Fort Dodge.

"Whilst spot U.S. ethanol selling prices currently generate a modest cash margin, forward margins continue to be under pressure," the company said in a trading update.

"Given the continuing lack of clear forward visibility in the industrial starch, co-product and ethanol markets, we have not yet determined the timing for the final completion of our Fort Dodge, Iowa, plant."

The company said its results in the first half of the year, before factoring in the impact of exchange rate shifts, were ahead of expectations but "will not reach the level of the corresponding period which benefited from strong co-product revenues during the commodity price peak of summer 2008."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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