Cargill says 3Q profit rose 86 percent

Agriculture conglomerate Cargill said on Monday that its third-quarter profit rose 86 percent to $1.03 billion on strong growth in its commodity sourcing and finance business.

Cargill said four of its five segments increased earnings from last year's third quarter. It said the largest profits came from its origination and processing segment, which processes and sells food commodities.

Cargill said it also saw profits rise "substantially" in its industrial segment, which benefited from global demand for fertilizers.

Profits in Cargill's risk management and financial segment declined for the third quarter in a row versus the prior-year period.

Cargill, based in the Minneapolis suburb of Wayzata, is one of the world's largest privately held companies, employing 158,000 people in 66 countries, and it discloses limited financial information. Cargill makes food ingredients, moves commodities around the world and runs financial commodities trading businesses.

"Demand for food in developing economies and for energy worldwide is boosting demand for agricultural goods, at the same time that investment monies have streamed into commodity markets," Cargill Chairman and Chief Executive Greg Page said in a prepared statement.

He said world grain stocks are at their lowest level in 35 years relative to demand.

"Prices are setting new highs and markets are extraordinarily volatile," he said.