This sector is the category for commodities jobs and careers.
The commodities sector on eFinancialCareers offers jobs from both investment banks and commodities trading houses.
The over-arching term ‘commodities’ comprises a wide range of different tradable products. Broadly, these include coal and freight; metals and steel; agricultural or ‘soft’ commodities; gas and power; renewable energy and emissions; and crude oil and petroleum products.
Commodities houses often also produce, store or distribute the products themselves, which means they also employ a whole range of people in non-financial roles. However, here we only look at the financial jobs related to their trading activities, such as commodities broker jobs.
The focus of the commodities trading houses is to deal in the raw materials. Investment banks, meanwhile, largely create and trade commodity derivative products. Derivative products, such as over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives or commodity futures, are an important way for farming cooperatives and other producers to protect against a poor year or negative price fluctuations and for investment banking clients to hedge against their exposures.
Despite these disparities, jobs in commodities generally fall into the following categories:
Trading: Commodities traders will have a particular area of expertise, usually falling into one of the product types above. Their role is to manage a trading portfolio on behalf of either their company or client, through the buying and selling of either raw commodities or commodity derivatives. They will also perform regular market analysis and research to inform their trading decisions and be expected to take both a long-term and short-term view of the market. Traders working with the physical products also have to consider issues such as shipping, storage and stock levels as well as how pricing exposure is managed using derivative products.
Sales: It’s largely investment banks who recruit sales staff. A sales job in commodities is largely about developing relationships with clients. These can be commodities producers, who want to use derivative products to manage their price exposure, or simply consumers. Commodities sales staff need good analytical skills to keep up with the latest movements in the commodities markets and their implications in order to explain the rationale for trading decisions and strategies to clients. Commodities salespeople will develop pitches, write reports and compile presentations for clients.
Structuring: This role involves a high degree of statistical analysis and is a highly quantitative job. For a junior role, most banks will only recruit people with a Masters degree in a highly mathematical subject, usually physics or quantitative analytics. As the name suggests a structuring job involves creating commodities structured products to offer clients, as well as performing statistical analysis to track their performance. Examples of these products include commodity-linked notes or baskets of commodities. Depending on the organisation, structuring roles can also comprise creating bespoke solutions to a client’s (usually a corporate) commodities hedging needs.