GENEVA, March 13 (Reuters) – Private investors and hedge
funds seeking new ways to gain exposure to commodities may
provide a lifeline to trading houses desperate for the
short-term liquidity that banks used to offer.
European banks have cut their lending in commodity trade
finance, the $1.5 trillion-a-year business of financing oil
shipments or copper deliveries, ahead of Basel III restrictions
aimed at reducing systemic risk after the 2008 financial crisis.
GENEVA, March 11 (Reuters) – Cotton prices could rise by as
much as 10 percent before the end of the season, according to a
leading commodity trader, even as the market braces for a record
surplus and merchants worry that high prices will discourage
Raw cotton fibre, the world’s worst performing commodity
over the last two years, has already risen by 15 percent since
the start of 2013 as speculators have bet on strong Chinese
imports while farmers switch acreage away from cotton to
GENEVA, March 6 (Reuters) – Lynx Energy, a trading and
investment firm set up by two former Mercuria talents, will open
a Singapore branch in April as it looks to boost African oil
sales to Asia, its co-founder said.
African oil exports to Asia are rising as refinery closures
in Europe and growing shale production in the United States
reduce demand among traditional clients, creating opportunities
for canny middle men.
GENEVA, March 4 (Reuters) – Switzerland-based Trafigura on
Monday became the second major trading house to confirm that it
had traded with an Iranian firm that the European Union says has
links to Iran’s nuclear programme.
The two contracts demonstrate the difficulties that western
powers face in curbing Iran’s ability to do business with the
rest of the world.
GENEVA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Vitol, the world’s biggest oil
trader, reported revenues that topped $300 billion for the first
time in 2012, while its profit margin was under increasing
pressure after slipping below 1 percent to a four-year low the
Revenues rose by 2 percent to $303 billion, despite a slight
drop in traded volumes, along with a rise in energy prices, the
Swiss firm said on Thursday. The figure exceeds revenues
reported by U.S. No. 2 oil major Chevron.
LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Vitol, the world’s biggest oil
trader, returned its second-highest profits on record in 2011 on
a steep increase in revenue, but its profit margin and cash flow
fell to their lowest in four years, the private firm disclosed.
The annual filing showed the challenges that trading houses
face in turning growth into profits. In their constant quest to
conquer new markets and secure bigger volumes, they rarely end
up generating a higher rate of return.
LONDON/GENEVA, Feb 26 (Reuters) – African crude exports to
the United States could slip to a trickle this year as the
world’s top oil consumer enjoys a shale oil boom, allowing
China, often now the buyer of last resort, to become ever more
The dire prospects for West African and Algerian exports to
the U.S. is also stoking competition among producers, which must
sell to a reduced pool of Asian and European clients.
DUBAI/GENEVA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – East Africa’s emerging oil
products market has sparked intense competition between traders
hunting for better profits to bolster tight margins in Europe
and the Middle East.
Oil traders with Gulf operations based in Dubai are looking
to sell into an East African market now worth $15 billion a year
to supply oil products to power emerging economies growing on
the back of a rising population and robust mining activity.
* Trading houses expanding into new commodities markets
* Agriculture, oil markets more connected due to biofuels
* Grains margins seen as much higher than oil returns
By Emma Farge and Sarah McFarlane
LONDON, Feb 20(Reuters) – Top oil trader Vitol is building a
global grains desk and has taken advantage of Glencore’s
takeover of Canadian grains giant Viterra to hire a
team of its traders, trading sources said on Wednesday.
Vitol, which has an annual turnover of nearly $300 billion,
will vie for market share along with rival trading firms Gunvor
and Mercuria, which have also expanded in agricultural commodity
markets as they seek to expand across new markets.
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Brent crude held near $117 per
barrel on Tuesday after falling in the last three sessions as
traders eyed lacklustre European growth and waited for U.S. data
to provide demand clues for the world’s largest oil user.
Forecasts for a slowdown in France’s GDP growth in 2013 and
elections in Italy have added to uncertainty on the euro zone
outlook, curbing investors’ appetite for riskier assets like