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HIGHLIGHTS-Top trading houses at commodities conference
March 29, 2017 / 9:09 AM / in 4 months

HIGHLIGHTS-Top trading houses at commodities conference

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LAUSANNE, March 29 (Reuters) - Top executives from the world's largest commodity trading houses discuss trends in trading at the FT Commodities Global Summit in Lausanne, Switzerland, this week.

For highlights from the first day:

The following are highlights:

Alan Haywood, Ceo of Supply and Trading Bp

"The context for our strategy is laid out in fundamentals until 2035. We see energy demand increasing by about 30 percent, half from nuclear, hydro power and renewables ... half will be going to the power sector."

"But we see 75 percent of energy demand still coming from oil, gas and coal. Gas demand will grow at approximately twice the rate of oil ... on the renewable side we will focus on our commitment to wind and Brazilian biofuels."

Marco Alvera, Ceo, Snam

Alvera sees emerging markets moving towards gas away from coal due to the cleaner advantage of gas.

"A one percent switch from coal to gas, gives same benefit on carbon dioxide, as a ten percent shift to renewables."

"In Europe, demand for gas has stabilised but production is declining. Faced with stable demand, imports need to grow ... we can only look east or southeast like the southern corridor.

"Europe has huge opportunities for LNG storage due to huge depleted reserves. LNG will become hugely seasonal ... and very distressed in the summer. Italy is a unique position because has largest gas storage reserves so can be a hub for imports and exports."

"In the United States, coal will be back, which potentially in the short term will benefit gas in Europe, and the price of coal will go up."

"There's a huge potential for biomethane in transport ... the beauty is that you can use existing infrastructure."

Mark Crandall, Chairman, Postscriptum

"The switch from coal to gas is a bigger thing than any switch to renewables."

"Batteries are about to happen. The first large scale delivery will start in July ... Whether they will live up to the hype is another thing. They still are not cheap enough."

"You can see the grim reaper for fossil fuels in the rear view mirror. In Chile and Argentina ... in non-subsidised tenders, renewables win. That's extraordinary compared to 5 years ago. Eventually it will catch up in the northern hemisphere."

Samuel Leupold, Executive Vp, Dong Energy

"Coal needs to go, lignite needs to go but it needs to be politically led ... Batteries in my view are completely overhyped."

"The influence of Washington D.C. is limited ... in terms of subsidies, it's more about the state than D.C.," he said, when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order undoing Obama-era climate change regulation.

Alistair Cross, Global Head of Operations, Mercuria

Cross sees blockchain technology as a way to reduce high-level fraud and cut back office costs.

"Our industry is very paper based and we have the technology now that can solve the complete settlement cycle ... Back office costs are a focus for all the companies and an area where we can make significant savings."

"A lot of instances of fraud -- it's high tech. The information on the document looks real and recognizable by counterparts. With blockchain, you can have a verifiable, authenticated (document) and only a person with a secure login can send that document."

Reporting by Julia Payne and Gus Trompiz, editing by Louise Heavens

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