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Commodities Trading: Non-Bank Funding?

​What people are talking about:

Asia Copper Week kicked off in Singapore via the annual Cesco week with the surrounding conferences and events. Sentiment in general seems to be of cautious optimism for copper and wider base metals in 2023 and we have seen strong demand for metals traders from clients, particularly in Singapore and from institutions from China and India.

  • The EV segment has also been in the limelight with the market abuzz about the EV circular economy – particularly as major metals firms continue to build up their ability to process and trade secondaries.

  • Ideal profiles within this area include individuals that potentially understand primary production, refining, and trading; being able to align their experience of the secondary sector in parallel to these flows, and working to bring themselves closer to end users and manufacturers.

The influx of hedge funds into the commodity market continues with large shops like Balyasny and smaller funds/family offices making marquee hires in the region and globally. There is still a significant appetite in the region for consistent P&L generators who trade liquid derivatives products.

In the agricultural segment, we continue to see an extremely shallow talent pool for junior to mid-level individuals across all products in the market, exacerbated by the “end-of-year bonus” effect and high demand for agricultural traders from all ends of the industry.

  • This will likely have a knock-on effect across the Feb-July periods (typically bonus declaration/payout time) in 2023, with renewed interest (authentic or opportunistic) from candidates looking out for their next steps.

  • Salaries may still be likely inflated at that point, carrying on from the increased demand for experienced individuals and talent shortages in 2022.

Despite hiring/internship/exposure programs across the industry, the majority of top-tier fresh graduates and high-potential talent will have already been recruited into the industry by this point, leaving employers to dig deeper or think out of the box for new sources of talent.

What we are currently working on:

  • Physical Gold Sales / Trader, Singapore

  • Iron Ore Market Maker, Singapore

  • India Coal Operator, Dubai/India

  • Commodities Derivatives Portfolio Manager, Singapore

  • Aluminium Trader, Shanghai

  • Copper Marketer, Shanghai

  • Nickel Raw Materials Trader, Shanghai

  • Commodities Risk Analyst

  • Minor / EV Metals Traders and Originators, Asia

  • Feedgrains Trader(s), various experience levels, Singapore

  • Procurement, Food and Feed, Singapore

  • Feed marketer, Indonesia and Vietnam

  • Sugar Trader(s), various experience levels, 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. Alternatively, click here for more jobs.


Growth of Non-Bank funding in Commodities Trading

Mounting ESG pressure and the Russian – Ukrainian war have led commodity traders, from coal to metals, oil, and fertilizers to look at the non-traditional alternative private financing institutions to provide trade and structured trade finance facilities in order to continue the trade of commodities. These funds include Kimura, GUUD Finance, Horizon Capital, Tor Investments, and EASTVine Capital.

In Europe for example, where the demand for coal has skyrocketed (as have prices), trading margins are such that financing costs in “the mid-teens” are now palatable and can support the higher lending rates. Banks traditionally charged single “low digit” figures for financing a cargo of metals, oil, or coal.

Unlike banks, alternative lenders are often defined as “unconstrained” and are relatively free of ESG and regulatory constraints which enables them to step in and take the place of traditional lending banks. These alternate lenders have been in the market for a while with varying degrees of success/failures, however, given current market conditions, we are seeing growing confidence in these firms and now bankers are less wary, and more serious about wanting to make the shift.

There is demand for talent for these institutions, particularly from bankers out of the trade finance, inventory finance, and structured trade finance teams as well as risk, operations, credit, and underwriters.

Market Moves

  • ​​Scott Shi has joined Xiandai Resources as General Manager in Shanghai, previously with Shanxi Securities.

  • Forrest Lu has joined Huatai as Executive Director, Commodity Sales in Hong Kong, previously Commodity Sales at ING.

  • Bosco Poon has joined Huatai as a Commodity Trader in Hong Kong, previously with Caravel.

  • Edmund Yee Jun Wen has joined JP Morgan in Singapore as an Iron Ore Trader, previously with Mitsubishi RtM.

  • Joanna Chen has joined STX Group as Corporate Account Manager – Climate Solutions in Singapore, previously with the Centre for Responsible Future.

  • Raymond Tan has joined Amaggi as a Trader in Singapore, previously with Interfood.

  • Manh Yu Nguyen has joined Swiss Singapore in Vietnam as their Country Lead, previously with Tata International.

  • Arne Petter Kolderup has joined Vanir Global Markets as Head of Carbon in Singapore.

  • Christopher Liow has joined COMEXIM in Singapore as Sales and Business Development Manager, previously with ECOM Trading.

  • Glen Lim has joined Sucden as a Trader in Singapore, previously with Wilmar.

Alex Kerr
Director | Partner

+65 3165 0710

EA 18S9493 | R1328009

John O.jpg
John Ong
Associate Director

+65 3165 0710

EA 18S9493 | R1658515