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Aurex Insights: APAC Bulk – Aug 2022

In the latest Aurex Insights: Bulk APAC, our team looks at the resurgence of demand for talent in agricultural trading as companies look to strengthen teams across the region. We also cover the latest news and events influencing businesses and professionals, as well as this month's market moves and current opportunities. 

What people are talking about

Anglo American and Rio Tinto have both reported a sharp drop in profits, blaming tight labour, supply chain disruptions, and margin calls. This follows other miners announcing weakening results which has been opposite to record quarters the oil majors have been releasing record quarterly results. 

The Hong Kong Exchange has announced the launch of the Hong Kong International Carbon Market Council where it will partner with corporates and financial institutions to develop the carbon market in the region. 

A number of Hedge Funds have announced they will be cutting back on trading on the LME following the nickel issues, Transtrend and Capital Fund Management have both announced withdrawing from the LME whilst Elliott is pursuing a court case against the exchange. On the other hand, Aurex Group is working with a number of other funds to increase activity in base metals trading are looking to hire PMs in this space. 

As metals prices suffer huge swings in volatility from the numerous market shocks over the past few months, the fundamental low inventory situation has prompted interest from several firms in exploring alternate emerging market sources in order to secure raw materials. Following on from a previous trend identified in the recycling/scrap industry, we have seen further interest from existing market participants to explore the viability of adding scrap into their portfolios. 

What we are currently working on

  • Nickel Raw Materials Trader, China 

  • Base Metals Trader, Singapore 

  • Commodities / Energy Principal Investments, Singapore 

  • Base Metals Junior Trader, China / Africa 

  • Meals Trader, Singapore 

  • Iron Ore Sales, Singapore 

  • Grains and Oilseeds Trader, Singapore 

  • Grains and Oilseeds Procurement Manager, Singapore 

  • Thermal Coal Trading Manager, Dubai 

  • Dairy Commodity 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. 

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Resurgence in demand in agricultural trading

​Aurex Group has seen a resurgence in demand from our clients that operate within the agricultural sector with producers, merchants, and traders looking to strengthen their teams across the region for commodities and value-added products. The market has reached new heights of activity as, despite grains futures falling to pre-war levels, supply issues and export restrictions continue to disrupt the market which has created trading opportunities that the more commercially minded institutions have been looking to exploit.

As the prices of feed remain volatile, an ongoing trend has taken on more importance – that of mid to end-stream users seeking to leverage experienced traders for work in procurement roles and to originate products directly from origin, potentially saving costs by cutting out the middle men in an increasingly tight market place. This seems to have also transcended the feed industry as soft commodities such as coffee, cocoa, and sugar see similar trends in the food manufacturing and confectionery industry. In particular, these products have also had a spotlight thrown on them from an ESG perspective which has increased the costs for farmers and producers to maintain their environmental certifications.

​Staples such as rice and pulses have also notably seen disruptions of their own, more so in the form of tighter export restrictions as countries focus on preserving these commodities for their own domestic populations. Knock-on effects of a tightening feed market and worries of scarcity have also led to prices of poultry and meat skyrocketing across the region.

Biofuels have also been an increasingly active market in terms of hiring, both from traditional fossil fuel traders/majors such as Petrochina spinning out biofuels from their distillates desks to agricultural trading companies looking to leverage their networks with feedstock producers to optimize their trade flows, and niche bio-jet, bio-bunker companies setting up Asian businesses to leverage the proximity to origination. Biofuels have recently been hit by falling prices, however, there is still a healthy appetite for talent in this niche industry. For our clients and candidates who operate within the agriculture segment, please reach out to one of our consultants for a view on the market or explore potential opportunities.

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Market Moves

  • Zhang Ye has joined Anglo American as Battery Materials Sales Manager, previously with Xiangyu.

  • Martyn Whitehead has joined Commonwealth Bank as Managing Director, Head of Commodities, previously with Standard Chartered Bank.

  • Caleb Lim has joined Engie in a Commercial and Green Solutions role, previously Metals Sales at Macquarie Bank.

  • Steven Lei Zhang has joined Zijin International as Head of Copper Concentrates Distribution, previously with Guojin.

  • Odysseas Plapoutas has joined Paralos Shipping as Managing Director, previously with Rio Tinto.

  • Mary Li has joined Baltnav as an FFA Trader, previously with Caravel.

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.

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Alex Kerr
Director

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd

alex@aurexgroup.com | +65 9007 2185

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

EA 18S9493 | R1328009

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John Ong
Associate Director

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd

john.ong@aurexgroup.com | +65 9824 9551

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

EA 18S9493 | R1658518