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Should I Leave My Job in Commodities?

Aurex Group's February snapshot for metals and bulk commodities in APAC is now available! In this issue, our team looks at career change pathways for commodities professionals as well as the latest news and events influencing the industry. As always, we also share the current opportunities in the market and recent moves.

What people are talking about

Singapore-based carbon exchange Climate Impact X / CIX (a joint venture between Singapore Exchange, DBS Bank, Standard Chartered, and Temasek Holdings) plans to conduct new auctions for carbon credits in early 2022, followed by the launch of standardized carbon contracts. CEO Mikkel Larsen said that this will focus on the trading of “high quality” carbon credits. How will this be taken up? Are we going to see Singapore as a major hub for this fledgling industry?

The CEO of the London Metal Exchange; Matt Chamberlain has resigned to join a cryptocurrencies firm called Komaniu. This is not the first ex commodities person that has made the move to crypto over the past 6 months, is this a trend that we will continue to see, will we see a brain train of talented commodities traders exit the market and what does that mean for talent, especially given the demand for derivatives traders in the market?

BP and Shell have replenished their Carbon Trading desks after being decimated by the trading houses in 2021. This market is still very hot for talent, yet the supply is getting tighter and tighter, in order to fill the new seats coming up where will we see the talent come from?

Glencore is supposedly in talks with Chinese smelter Yanggu Xiangguang regarding a tie-up for a blending facility. This is not the first partnership between an international trading company and a smelter with firms such as Trafigura already having a relationship with Jinchuan smelter. It is said that Xiangguang has been facing liquidity issues since the Dongying case and thus are we going to see Glencore come to the rescue?

What we are currently working on

  • Base / Precious Metals Fund Manager, Singapore

  • Agricultural Commodities Derivatives Trader, Singapore

  • Coal Trading Manager, Vietnam

  • Carbon and Clean Energies Structurer, Singapore

  • Murex Technical Lead, Singapore

  • Steel Trader, Singapore

  • Senior Base Metals Analyst, 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. 


Should I Leave My Job in Commodities?

Since 2020 Aurex Group has seen more and more people shift commodities or move even outside of the energy and natural resources market, usually to technology, real estate or crypto.

It is a question that we are being constantly asked by our candidate population, particularly from those from commodity markets that are said to be sunset industries such as coal where traders and financiers have been looking to growth areas where skillsets can be applied such as to carbon and crypto trading.

In the crypto world, there are large remuneration packages on offer from funds and institutions that are looking for people that have a good understanding of markets and technology and usually look for people that have 2 key skill sets – derivatives trading and programming.

Precious and base metals traders seem to have the most transferrable skillsets and thus there are traders now sitting in crypto trading funds on the discretionary desks learning the markets and having varying degrees of success.

For those wanting to move into Carbon, given the huge demand for talent, and limited supply in the market, there is an opportunity for those that are willing to invest in learning about Carbon. The skillsets most in-demand and where we have seen people make the move is in origination/business development, sales, trading, and structuring.

Generally, there is no specific commodity where more people have made a switch, we have seen those from iron ore, coal, LNG, oil, and even agricultural commodities move into this space, however the most important way to prepare for this is by self-learning about the market, really understanding the flows, players and how the fundamentals work as more often than not the hiring managers will not have the experience also.

If you are looking to make the switch into this industry and have either a strong sales/business development skillset or are on the structuring side then please get in touch.


Market Moves

  • Ouyang Xiuzhang has stepped down as CEO Asia of Freepoint Commodities.

  • Richard Chatterton has joined Mercuria as Head of Carbon Analysis, previously Head of Oil Demand Analysis at Bloomberg.

  • Sunny Gupta has joined Bunge as an Originator, previously Executive Director – Global Transaction Banking at FAB.

  • Erica Wu has joined Cargill as a Freight Trader, previously a Senior Chartering Manager at Baumarine.

  • Arindam Sil has joined ThyssenKrupp as a Senior Coal and Coke Trader, previously a Director at Carboferro Resources.

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

  • Arthur Fan has joined Marex as Head of Asia, previously Global Head of Commodities at BOC.

  • Kee Nic Lee has joined Trafigura as a Structured Originator – Carbon Trader, previously in a similar role at Shell.

​I hope you enjoy our latest market insight for metals and bulks commodities. 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