Cargill Inc., the second largest privately held corporation in the U.S., has announced a 68% increase in profit for Q1 of FY 2011. Net income attained $883 million for the quarter ended Aug. 31 compared to $525 million for the corresponding quarter in fiscal 2010. Sales attained $27.8 billion, 6% more than Q1 of 2010.

Cargill attributes improved performance to renewed market volatility.

“We had gone for a year with markets moving relatively range-bound,” said company spokeswoman Lisa Clemens. “Things began to change in June and July; volatility provided both risk and opportunity.”

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The company noted that the Food, Ingredients and Applications unit demonstrated moderate improvements in earnings but profit declined in the Agricultural Services unit attributed to “seasonality.” The majority stake in Mosaic, a manufacturer of fertilizer, contributed materially to profits, although the Risk-Management and Finance units performed at a lower level as energy markets were less volatile than agricultural commodities.

In further news, Cargill is supporting the pending free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, which would facilitate exports and generate jobs in the U.S.