The rally in palm oil prices, which on Thursday hit a fresh two-year high, helped agricultural trading giant Wilmar International report a 47% jump in earnings, and forecast a "satisfactory full-year performance.
The world's top palm oil processor, and a major force in ags from grains to sugar, reported net profit of $392.2m for the three months ending September, equivalent to earnings per share of 6.2 cents.
The rise reflected expansion at its tropical oils division, where profits rose 81% to $169.3m, in part down to a "good performance" by its processing operations, but also thanks to strong palm oil prices.
Palm oil futures on Thursday rose above 2,900 ringgit a tonne in Kuala Lumpur for the first time since March 2014, boosted by concerns over output in Malaysia, the second-ranked producing country, as reported elsewhere on Agrimoney.com.
Output in Malaysia, and in Indonesia, the top-ranked palm oil producing nation, has been affected by dryness blamed on the El Nino weather pattern, with labour shortages growing as a concern too.
Wilmar said that its plantation yields, "affected by the El Nino phenomenon", had fallen 14% to 4.7 tonnes per hectare.
However, Wilmar said that "although plantation results were affected by lower production volume, the impact on pre-tax profit was marginal, due to improved crude palm oil prices during the quarter".
Chief executive Kuok Khoon Hong also said that the oilseeds and grains segment had achieved a "good performance" from both the consumer products and oilseed crushing businesses.
And in sugar, the company reported a 21% decline in pretax profit to $86.4m, "owing to continued disruption in harvesting due to wet weather in Australia, as well as weaker performance by the merchandising business".
Wilmar's tropical oils segment rose 81% to $169.3m due to downstream businesses, in spite of plantation results being affected by lower production volumes.
Production yield, affected by the El Nino phenomenon, was down by 14.1% to 4.7m tonnes per hectare for the July to September period.
Profits before tax of $248.1m were also recorded in the oilseeds and grains segment.
"The group will continue to execute on its stated growth strategy, with emphasis on its downstream businesses and focusing on high-growth markets in Asia and Africa," said Mr Hong.
"Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the group's performance for the year is expected to be satisfactory," he said.
By Tanya Ashreena