Commodity Management Blog

Innovative Ideas and Thought Leadership for Volatile Commodity Marketplace

Heavy users of raw materials face a huge challenge. The prices of many of the world’s key commodities reached all-time highs last year, and volatility across the markets was more than enough to create huge problems for companies in the industrial manufacturing and consumer products industries.

It’s easy to find startling examples of price volatility in every category from arable crops and metals to timber, oil, and chemicals. And it’s also easy to see the consequences of such volatility in companies’ bottom lines – time and time again, there are stark reminders that sharply rising raw material costs can impact…

Since 2010 the coking coal industry, led by BHP Billiton, has been moving towards shorter term market based pricing, breaking with the tradition of annual contacts and mutually agreed prices. This reflects commitment from the industry to achieve current market prices.  In April this year, BHP told Reuters that it expected two-thirds of the global coking coal market to adopt spot and short-term pricing mechanisms by the end of 2012. On the back of this, trading platform globalCOAL has recently launched trading contracts for coking coal.

Triple Point has supported this move by adding short-term pricing…

As history has shown us, getting credit risk wrong can result in reputational damage and ultimately financial ruin. Organizations that want to succeed today must make credit an enterprise level concern. 

I recently talked to Fred Pacione, Director of Credit Risk and Marketing Treasury at Nexen Inc. about how they manage credit risk and the central role that Triple Point plays in this. Nexen takes an automated approach which crucially has the full support of senior management.  Their credit risk strategy has four key elements:

Holistic counterparty assessment Accurate view of exposure

Are you looking for greater visibility into your supply chain? Do you dream of a “single version of the truth” across mining operations, marketing, logistics, and finance, but are not sure how to make it a reality?

Triple Point recently hosted a webinar with Exxaro’s Melanie Steyn on how they gained a single view of mining operations, saved money and increased productivity with QMASTOR’s mining supply chain solution. Triple Point experts also provided deep insight into how to simplify logistics, meet targets and optimize production.

The webinar highlighted valuable tips on how…

Commodity volatility combined with soaring commodity prices make predicting and maintaining margin challenging for Food and Beverage companies. In a recent article in We Know Commodities, Mark van Erkelens, an executive in Accenture’s SAP Supply Chain Solutions Group, shared four tips for managing commodity volatility in the food & beverage industry.

1. Maintain margin despite growing volatility. In order to ensure a consistent stock of raw materials at the best price, utilize tools that can provide enhanced insight into commodity pricing trends.

2. Integrate financial and physical markets. Research from Accenture’s Institute for…

Steve Maxwell recently presented at Dry Cargo’s Bulk Ports, Terminals and Logistics 2012 Conference in Amsterdam. It was a lively and interactive session that demonstrated how organizations can optimize decision making and deliver substantial cost savings by integrating terminal operations on a common technology platform.

With numerous partners and resources the bulk terminal supply chain is very complex. Consumers, suppliers, vessel owners/charterers and agents, maintenance planners and transportation providers all need to record and exchange large amounts of data while managing their unique business processes. Despite these challenges, many terminal organizations are still attempting to manage their supply chain with…

We hosted our Global User Conference last week in Barcelona. Situated in the stunning Hotel Arts, we had users attending from across Europe, Africa, North and South America and Asia. It was a really successful two days packed with interactive product sessions, customer case studies and some great networking and hospitality.

As part of Triple Point’s ongoing commitment to be the best solution partner, users were given the opportunity to influence product roadmaps in the Customer Driven Development meetings. We also had some great tips and tricks sessions to help users gain a greater return on their investment in…

With J.P. Morgan’s recent $2 billion loss, financial risk is once again making headlines. It doesn’t look like this loss is going to cause systemic failure, but it serves as a prudent reminder that strong credit risk management systems and   practices are vital to surviving today’s risky waters.

In a recent article in We Know Commodities, Dana Docherty and Amanda Lohec, Directors at Opportune, warn that “All too often, spreadsheets that are intended to be a stopgap measure become comfortable and are accepted as a long-term solution. Replacing those spreadsheets with Credit Management and Reporting (CMR) systems is critical…

A combination of persistently low margins and high volatility can spell bad news for refining operations, causing intraday swings in oil prices exceeding their margins. According to an article recently published in Global Technology Forum, this situation is driving greater integration between refinery operations and trading activities within oil companies. It’s no longer good enough to be buying or selling to meet the needs of the refinery – supply traders and marketing personnel are being asked to use their market knowledge to make smarter trading decisions.

According to Viren Doshi, senior vice president,…

Are you in full compliance with AMIRA P754? The importance of coherent material balance results has long been recognized by mining and metallurgical companies. Due to recent accounting scandals and the resulting tightening corporate governance, companies are becoming increasingly concerned with how the reported numbers are obtained and how much accuracy can be attributed to them.

As a result, The AMIRA P754 project was launched in 2004 to develop a rigorous set of metal accounting guidelines for the mining and metallurgical industres. The guidelines stress the importance of state-of-the-art metal accounting systems, such as Algosys Metallurgical Accountant™, and warn…

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