Commodities, whether they are in the form of food, metals or energy, are an important part of everyday life. One of the earliest major commodity trading names in Switzerland was that of Volkart Brothers; founded in 1851 on the Lake Contance, it grew to become the fourth largest cotton trader globally. Today, Switzerland is currently the 15th largest export economy in the world, with annual exports of $302bn. According to the Swiss Trading & Shipping Association (STSA), commodity trading firms account for over 35,000 direct jobs and four percent of GDP in Switzerland. STSA is the CEO-led industry association representing commodity trading in Switzerland.
Overall, commodities were on a mostly sound footing in the first half of 2019. The S&P GSCI returned more than 13% as of June 30, one of the best first six months in recent memory. The S&P GSCI is a composite index that measures the performance of the commodity market. The index made up of 24 exchange-traded futures contracts covering physical commodities spans five sectors. The sectors in 2019 are energy, industrial metals, precious metals, agriculture, and livestock. Energy was the largest sector at 62.63% of the index. Agriculture had a 15.41% share, while livestock came in at 6.66%. Industrial metals accounted for 11.16% of the GSCI, and precious metals were 4.14%. In a repeat of last year, crude oil was the top performing commodity, up 28.76% as of June 30.
Demand for commodity trading specialists is increasing, with employment for all commodities, securities, and financial services traders and sales agents expected to grow by ten percent between 2014 and 2024. Our consultants are specialists in their markets, recruiting top talent for organisations across the commodities job markets throughout Switzerland and Europe.