LONDON Feb 20Top oil trader Vitol is making
final preparations to build a global grains desk and has hired
traders following Glencore's takeover of Canada's
Viterra Inc, trading sources said on Wednesday.
Vitol, which has an annual turnover of nearly $300 billion,
will vie for market share along with rival trading firms Gunvor
and Mercuria which have also expanded in agricultural commodity
Trading sources said the Swiss-based firm had hired at least
five traders from Viterra's Geneva, Hamburg and
Singapore offices following Glencore's $6 billion takeover of
Canadian grains giant Viterra last year.
The first grain trading staff are expected to join next
month, two industry sources said.
Vitol, already present in the sugar market, is hiring around
15 staff as part of the expansion, one of the sources said.
Vitol declined comment. Glencore was not
immediately available for comment.
Industry sources said that the Glencore-Viterra tie up --
one of the largest deals in the global agriculture business for
years -- meant that many Viterra traders discovered that
Glencore traders had similar roles to their own.
"A lot of the main grains people at Viterra are not being
taken on by Glencore because of direct overlaps," said a grains
trader formerly working for Viterra.
"Hamburg and Singapore are being talked about as offices
because of their regional grain trading strengths and the
existence of Viterra offices in both cities."