GrainCorp is confident of another "well above average" end of year harvest, also flagging its full year profit expectations are lifting to record levels topping $400 million after last season's big crop and continued strong grain demand.
The east coast agribusiness giant is running its grain handling and processing operations at near capacity.
GrainCorp is also working its overseas trading desks at full throttle as global markets struggle with grain supply limitations caused by Russia's Ukraine invasion.
Net profit after tax for the full year to September 30 is now tipped at between $365m and $400m - up from predictions of $310m to $370m just a month ago.
Underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for the trading year have risen from between $590m and $670m to $680-$730m.
The forecast reflects a huge jump in GrainCorp's fortunes from a few years ago when drought-withering cropping conditions sent the business sliding to $113 loss in 2019, while it only made a $71m profit the year before that.
The company's share price lifted about seven per cent mid week in response to the news, climbing back over the $8 mark to hit a temporary high of $8.43.
GrainCorp shares have lately drifted down from a mid year peak of $10.48 after some analysts expressed the view the company had reached its current profit capacity, assuming good seasonal and market conditions were unlikely to be bolstering its performance for much longer.
Managing director, Robert Spurway, said the company's continuing upbeat outlook reflected outstanding execution across all GrainCorp's business areas and expectations for another strong eastern Australian crop result in 2022-23.
"Both our agribusiness and processing businesses are on track to deliver record financial results," Mr Spurway said.
The company's seaboard terminals had exported almost 8m tonnes of grain in the past 11 months.
The prospect of another big harvest flowing into country storages had prompted a surge of fresh export activity by traders to make room for the new crop.
"We are operating our supply chains at close to full capacity and our teams have done an outstanding job in overcoming disruptions relating to weather and COVID," Mr Spurway said.
"We expect another well above average east coast crop in 2022-23 based on crop development we have seen to date and a favourable three month rainfall outlook."
"This positive crop outlook is driving an increase in fourth quarter activity, supporting export volumes, forward contracted grain sales and supply chain margins."
To prepare for the next whopper harvest, GrainCorp was building additional bunker storage space and investing in new grain handling equipment to maximise receival capacity at key sites in its Queensland, NSW and Victorian network, and keenly recruiting casual workers for its country receival sites.
Stockfeed and oils
The company's processing and feeds, fats and oils businesses also continued performing well.
Mr Spurway said they were benefiting from strong demand for crude and refined vegetable oils, and renewable fuel feedstocks such as used cooking oil and tallow.
GrainCorp, which officially releases its full year earnings results in November, noted its earnings guidance was subject to several market variables including the timing of grain exports, new crop sales and prevailing weather conditions.
The full year EBITDA forecast of up to $730m included a $22.1m pre-tax loss from the company's 10pc stake in its former subsidiary, the United Malt Group, based on its $3.18 share price on August 9, whereas previous guidance had excluded any revaluation impact from the UMG holding.
Freight disruptions, high energy and grain prices and poor quality malt barley supplies in North America have been among the cost and operational hurdles impacting United's operations this year.
Llast month the international malster to cut its EBITDA forecasts to a maximum of $108m for 2021-22 - down from previous peak expectations of $140m.
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