Corn Products International Inc., a corn refiner and supplier of food ingredients, said on Tuesday that second-quarter net income fell 21 per cent, meeting average forecasts, as high energy costs and weak currencies more than offset strong volume growth. The company maintained expectations for fiscal 2001 earnings of $1.95 to $2.05 per share, but said it would be "more difficult" to meet those numbers if currency declines became more severe and economic conditions deteriorate more. Corn Products earned $1.72 per share in fiscal 2000 before a charge. The company reported second-quarter net income of $15.3 million, or 43 cents per share, compared with $19.3 million, or 55 cents, a year ago. Net sales rose 2 per cent to $482.2 million in the quarter from $473.9 million a year ago, the company said. Sales increased 6 per cent to $317 million in North America, driven by stronger volumes throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States. However, operating income declined 27 per cent, primarily because of high energy costs, low corn oil pricing and a short-term corn cost problem in Canada that more than offset benefits from a restructuring last year, the company said. Sales decreased 6 per cent to $166 million in the rest of the world due to foreign currency erosion. Volume rose in Asia, Africa and in much of South America, where there were robust sales in the Southern Cone of South America. Volume in Brazil decreased slightly due to a slowing economy there. Shares in Corn Products rose 29 cents, or 0.98 percent, to $29.74 Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.