Commodity brokers buy and sell commodities on a commission basis on behalf of private and commercial clients. Job applicants will need to be quick-witted, numerically capable and able to negotiate.
What does a commodity broker do?
Traditionally, commodity brokers buy and sell goods such as oil, grain, metals, sugar and coffee on behalf of their clients. However, commodity brokers now also trade complex financial products (derivatives) based on a wider range of assets, including shares, equities, stocks and bonds, with the idea of gaining large financial return.
Typical responsibilities include:
- monitoring international market performance
- providing investment advice and market recommendations to clients
- trading on behalf of clients
- liaising with transport, shipping and insurance companies
- devising ‘hedging strategies’
- visiting international suppliers
- meeting with clients
- interpreting market reports
- negotiating price, specification and delivery details
- investigating new business openings.
Employers of commodity brokers include investment banks, commodity brokers, financial clearing houses and exchanges such as The London Metal Exchange (LME), ICE Futures and Euronext.
Commodity brokering is a career that offers high levels of responsibility, good opportunities for promotion and impressive financial rewards including generous salaries and large bonuses. However, long working hours and high levels of stress are common. Many opportunities arise in London and other major cities worldwide.
Qualifications and training required:
Commodity brokers are usually educated to degree level, and it can be harder for school leavers to find employment in this profession.
Graduates usually join a graduate scheme with an employer, and can have a degree in any discipline, although, qualifications in management, business, financial or numerate subjects may be preferred.
Recruiters commonly have a lengthy and rigorous application procedure designed to identify motivated graduates who possess outstanding personal qualities and intellectual abilities. To succeed, candidates need to be ambitious, determined and able to cope with stress. On top of this you need to be quick-witted, numerically capable and able to negotiate
Recommended IBDP subjects needed to become a commodity broker:
No specific IBDP subject requirements.