Food and ingredients giant Cargill has seen third-quarter profits soar by 86% thanks to sky-high commodity costs.

The US-based group posted net earnings of US$1.03bn for the three months to 29 February, as demand for agricultural commodities grew.

"Relative to demand, world grain stocks today are at their lowest levels in 35 years," said Cargill chairman and CEO Greg Page. "Prices are setting new highs and markets are extraordinarily volatile."

Four of Cargill's five business segments increased earnings from the third quarter a year ago. The only blot on the Cargill copy-book was from the company's risk management and financial business.

Cargill did not disclose sales figures.