ECTP closes Argentina grains and oilseeds trading desk

3 Sep 2019 | Andy Allan, Johnny Huang

Trading house Engelhart Commodity Trading Partners has shut its trading desk in Buenos Aires on thin margins as it seeks to focus on grain and oilseed origination in the Black Sea and Brazil instead.

Several sources told Agricensus that the company, which was formed as a physical commodity trading house in 2013, had parted company with its grains and oilseeds traders in Argentina but left the research analyst team in place.

"The Buenos Aires office was closed. The two traders were fired and the two researchers absorbed by the bank (BTG Pactual)," said a well-placed source.

A second source said the closure was due to difficulties making trading margins originating grains and oilseeds in Argentina.

Sources said that the decision did not reflect the wider operations of ECTP and that the company had a remit to expand its business in Brazil and elsewhere.

ECTP, which is part-owned by Brazilian finance house BTG Pactual, was established to fill the void in physical commodity trading after investment banks exited the space earlier this decade.

The company operates in four broad sectors: energy, softs, metals, and grains and oilseeds.

Its fortunes, however, have been mixed – posting a loss of almost $500 million in the past three years.

In an interview with Bloomberg News earlier this year, the company's Chairman Huw Jenkins said he expected the company to be profitable this year.