Toyota to launch global sugar trading desk

LONDON Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:12am EST

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LONDON Nov 22 (Reuters) - Japanese conglomerate Toyota Tsusho Corp (TTC) will launch a global sugar trading operation within months, their director of sugar trading said on Thursday.

Toyota is already a global metals trader but this marks its first international trading venture in agricultural commodities beyond trading activities focused on Japan's domestic market.

Richard O'Connor, previously at international trade house Bunge, has hired 11 staff including physical and futures traders and said the London-based team would begin trading early in the new year.

Toyota already buys raw sugar for Japanese refiners but the new desk would have an international focus, O'Connor said.

"Within two or three years we're aiming to trade 1 million tonnes per annum on the physical market," said O'Connor, adding that the company's capital backing would make it an attractive trade partner from a risk perspective.

Expansion of the sugar operations by acquisitions is also a possibility down the track, O'Connor said.

"Once we've started trading if we see opportunities to invest anywhere, either at origination at destination, we'll look at it." (Reporting by Sarah McFarlane, editing by William Hardy)

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