Trading and shipping giant Trafigura Group has logged what it calls a "strong" performance in its first six months, as it focused on quality not quantity.

In the six months to 31 March, net earnings reached $426m, from $222m in the corresponding period last year, principally due to a strong performance in oil and petroleum products trading.

Revenue was flat at $86.29bn, reflecting trading volumes that remained largely stable and average commodity price levels broadly in line with last year.

Gross profit for oil and petroleum products was $1.035bn, up nearly three-and-a-half times from the first half a year ago.

"The crude oil, gasoline, LNG and wet freight desks were the stand-out contributors," it said.

Gross profit in metals and minerals trading fell by about one-third to $437m, reflecting a slow start for the non-ferrous concentrates and refined metal books.

Chief financial officer Christophe Salmon said: “In commodity markets that remained fiercely competitive, the company prioritised profitable business over further volume growth and maintained a very robust financial position with ample access to liquidity."

After four years of rapid volume growth, the company is in a phase of consolidation across its trading books.

Total volumes traded in oil and petroleum products reduced by 7% year-on-year to an average 5.5m barrels per day, while metals and minerals volumes increased 3%.

The group maintained credit lines of $59bn from a record total of around 135 banks.