Back to Insights
Blog Img

Looking Back on Commodity Recruitment in 2021

Welcome to Aurex Group’s round-up of 2021 for the Asia Pacific commodity recruitment markets. In this edition, our team looks at some of the year’s deal highlights, how hiring trends have differed from 2020, and the major factors and events influencing the industry for talent and businesses within our commodity recruitment sector.​

What we are currently working on

  • Scrap Metals Trader – Singapore

  • HR Business Partner APAC – Singapore

  • Risk Manager – Singapore

  • Australia and New Zealand Sales Trader – Singapore

  • Quant Developer – Singapore

  • AVP/VP Structured Trade Finance – Singapore

  • Carbon Originator – Singapore & China

  • Soybeans Trader - Guangzhou

  • Steel Trader - Singapore

If you are interested in any of these roles, please reach out to us via the contact details at the end of this newsletter. 



First of all, Aurex Group’s metal and bulk recruitment team would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that 2022 brings fortune, health, and prosperity. We hope that this year we will emerge out of Covid strong with lessons learned and it seems like a new world of flexible working and disrupted travel.

Looking back at 2021 through the eyes of our bulk commodity recruitment team, we have seen the sector as a whole start to come back and have its moment in the sun again. Even for the traditionally unloved commodities such as thermal coal, coking coal, and building materials, etc, we have seen strong growth from the market in from a commodity recruitment stand point, plus new and returning entrants to the commodities, namely hedge funds, banks, and wider financial institutions.

On the fund side, this year we have seen the likes of Citadel, Bluecrest, CRW, Symmetry, Union, and Dymon all take steps to expand their commodity teams in a meaningful way in this part of the world at least in terms of trading. For financing, after a couple of bad years punctuated by the Shandong defaults in 2019, and Singapore following suit in 2020 resulting in a number of high profile exits; banks are seemingly cautiously coming back and looking to rebuild teams for structured trade finance and trade finance in particular.

2021 also saw a re-emergence of the Environmental Products market and in particular Carbon where the trading houses and banks pillaged the utilities and majors, laying down packages not seen for a long time to tap into the limited talent pool of staff in these areas.

It was joked that if you can spell the word “carbon” that you would be given a job and that is not necessarily far from the truth. Following on the “greener” route, battery materials is a phrase on everybody’s lips with traditional miners, traders, and financiers looking for a piece of the action.

China; once again has been strong on the hiring front, with international companies always looking for good talent on the ground, plus we have seen a number of SOE and POE institutions continue to set up in Singapore with a particular spotlight on the Xiamen headquartered traders such as C&D, Guomao, and Xiangyu. The biggest growth area in terms of hiring for China has been outside the traditional commodities of metals, iron ore, coal, etc and instead has been on the Oil and LNG side where we have seen a large demand for internationally-minded Chinese oil and LNG traders being courted for roles in both Singapore and on the Mainland. Aurex Group in particular has a strong track record and network in China and with Chinese talent globally through our experienced consultants and Chinese parent company and thus would be happy to talk this through with clients.

As we all prepare for 2022, Aurex Group is on hand to sit down with clients and candidates to strategise for upcoming hires, moves or just to discuss the market and our consultants are always happy to meet for coffees, drinks, etc. Best of luck for 2022, Jiayou!!


Market Moves

  • Yale Zhang has joined Union International Trading as a Portfolio Manager, previously with Cathay Fortune.

  • Michael Wang has joined Risun as International Business Development, Vice General Manager in Beijing, previously Commercial Manager – Met Coal at Peabody.

  • Sophie Hui Xu has joined IXM in Shanghai as a Concentrates Trader, previously with Nanfang Smelter. 

  • Justin Holland has been promoted to Head of Commodity Derivatives APAC at BNP, previously Managing Director, Base, and Precious Metals Trading.

  • Desmond Ngiam has joined Cargill as a Regional Merchandising and Trading Director, previously with Louis Dreyfus as a Sugar Trader in Singapore.

  • Jake Cho has joined Morgan Stanley in a Commodity Sales role, previously at ICBC Standard Bank.

  • Dylan Wong has joined JSW as a Coking Coal and Coke Trader, previously a Coking Coal Reporter at Argus in Singapore.

  • Abhinav Singh has joined Trafigura as an Aluminium Trader in India, previously Deputy Director – International Marketing at Vedanta.

  • Shu Ying Goh has joined Macquarie as a Metals and Bulks Sales, previously in a Commodity Sales role at Societe Generale.

  • Sashi Kumar has joined Novum Energy as Regional Head of Finance, previously Head of Energy SEA at Rabobank in Singapore.

I hope you enjoy our latest market insight on metals and bulk commodity recruitment. Or, for a discussion around recent mandates, compensation, or other hiring trends, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Alex Kerr

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd | +65 9007 2185

12 Marina View, #11-01 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961

EA 18S9493 | R1328009