By Archie Hunter
After making more money than ever in the last few years, some of the world’s top energy traders are using the cash to expand in metals and agriculture.
The bumper profits reaped from trading oil and gas have given them cash to invest and opportunity to diversify into other commodities. Since last year Gunvor Group, Hartree Partners LP and Vitol Group hired crop or metals traders.
While it’s not the first time major energy merchants have leaned into such markets, there are several reasons their interest is rising now.
The energy crisis and Russia’s war in Ukraine fueled volatility that traders crave and underscored how one commodity can impact another — such as high gas prices curbing metals output and boosting fertilizer costs. Plus, metals like copper and lithium are crucial to the energy transition away from fossil fuels and a US renewable diesel boom is boosting crop demand, helping to connect commodity markets.