| LONDON, March 27
LONDON, March 27 Commodity house Gunvor now
trades iron ore as part of its strategy to diversify in both
what it deals and where it operates, the company said on
Privately-owned Gunvor has stared trading physical iron ore
and iron ore derivatives from Singapore, the main trading centre
for the steelmaking ingredient widely consumed in China.
Gunvor has hired traders Darren Toh, previously at steel
trader Stemcor and Brett Suann an iron ore veteran previously at
BHP Billiton and Mitsubishi.
It also hired Dan Brebner, a metals analyst formerly at
The Geneva-based company is the latest of a number of
trading houses trying their luck in iron ore, the world's second
largest traded commodity by volume after oil, with over 1.2
billion tonnes shipped by sea every year.
"We have an increasing presence in Asia, and iron ore is a
growing market and a good business for Gunvor, since it
complements our trade into China," said Gunvor spokesman Seth
The company already has shipping and logistics in place for
iron ore through its existing dry-bulk shipping arm, which has
transported more than 15 million tonnes of iron ore last year
across Brazil and Australia, he added.
Brazil's Vale, and Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto
and BHP-Billiton are the
world's largest iron ore miners and send hundreds of millions of
tonnes of iron to top steel producer and consumer China every
Gunvor's competitors in the energy sector such as Vitol and
Mercuria have already opened iron ore desks to take advantage of
a market that has opened to new players after a decades-old
annual benchmark pricing system crumbled in favour of short-term
pricing in 2010.
Gunvor came under the spotlight last week after the United
States slapped sanctions on its former co-owner and founder
Gennady Timchenko, one of the most loyal businessmen to Russia's
president Vladimir Putin.
Timchenko sold his 43 percent stake in Gunvor to Chief
Executive Torbjorn Tornqvist last week and U.S. officials said
the firm will avoid U.S. sanctions.
(Editing by Dmitry Zhdannikov and William Hardy)