Commodities giant Glencore profit soars

Swiss-based commodities giant Glencore said on Thursday its first half net profit soared 57 percent to $2.45 billion, boosted by strong commodities demand and prices.

“Underlying demand conditions for commodities remained generally robust during the period, despite a number of major disruptive events,” said Ivan Glasenberg, chief executive officer of the group.  

“We remain optimistic about long term global economic prospects and that the trends that underpin the growth of Glencores business are firmly in place,” he said.  

China and India would “continue to underpin the growth in global trade,” he added.  

While the sovereign debt crisis is of concern, Glasenberg said the group will look to minimising its adverse impact as well as “remaining alert to the potential opportunities that such an environment uncovers in our end markets.”  

Revenues for the six months to June rose 32 percent from first half 2010 to $92.1 billion due to “significantly higher average commodity prices for most of the commodities which Glencore produces and markets.”  

Average prices for Brent oil soared 42 percent, thermal coal rose 39 percent, wheat 38 percent, copper 32 percent and gold 26 percent, the group said.  

Glencore noted that German base metal demand was “particularly strong” during the period, lifted by stronger exports.  

Coal demand was also up, particularly in the aftermath of the Japanese nuclear disaster in March. 

“This was most noticeable in Germany where it was announced that 8.8 (Gigawatts) of nuclear power generation would be taken off-line for safety checks,” Glencore noted.