MAG Commodities opens three offices across Europe

by World Grain Staff
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BAAR, SWITZERLAND — MAG Commodities announced on March 27 the opening of three offices in Baar, Switzerland, Barcelona, Spain and Kiev, Ukraine. 

MAG Commodities is a newly established grain marketing company with current operations in Switzerland, Spain and the Ukraine. Its focus is on supplying agricultural commodities directly sourced from growers from the Black Sea region to Europe, the Middle East and other countries importing grains. It provides comprehensive services along the value chain including the origination and logistics necessary to ensure timely delivery to end customers. MAG Commodities has a team of professionals with long-standing experience in global trading companies and an in-depth understanding of market structures and customers’ needs and preferences. 

Each of the three offices will focus on specific activities.

The office in Baar is the company’s headquarters and will concentrate on sales and marketing, global arbitrage, financing and the risk management for the Group. The Baar office will further develop and implement the company’s growth platform.

Christian Joerg is joining the company as chief executive officer.  Joerg possesses broad experience in commodities trading, finance and risk management. 

Most recently he served as managing director and vice-president for Viterra, where he was responsible for setting up Viterra’s trading activities in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
From 2005 to 2008, Joerg worked as executive director for UBS AG in Geneva in charge of the agricultural commodities desk. 

Prior to his time at UBS, he served for seven years as managing director of the Collateral Management Department at Société Générale de Surveillance SA. Joerg started his career in 1990 at André & Cie SA, a major grain trading company, with four years spent in the U.S.

At MAG Commodities, Joerg will be responsible for establishing a solid platform for the group, strategic development and building key relationships with clients and financial institutions.  

The Barcelona office, which will be headed up by Jose Luis Esteban, will extend the marketing network of MAG Commodities and strengthen its ability to market grains directly to the food and feed industry in the Spanish peninsula. 

“We are excited to have Jose Luis Esteban and his team on board. Throughout his career, Esteban has established strong relationships with both flour millers and the food industry,” said Joerg. “His know-how and good insight into our customers’ needs will connect the origination and destination markets and further strengthen MAG Commodities’ marketing position.”

The office in Kiev will originate high-quality agricultural commodities and further complement the existing origination capabilities. It will establish sustainable partnerships with local producers. 
Ukraine is one of the world’s leading exporters of agricultural commodities with major growth potential in the near term. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that exports of wheat from the Black Sea region will increase by 35% by 2019. Corn exports from the former Soviet Union, mostly Ukraine, are predicted to rise nearly 60% to more than 17 million tonnes in the next 10 years. Ukraine is set to significantly increase its grains and oilseeds production over the next decade, targeting exports to Asian countries. Total Ukrainian output is expected to increase 38% from current figures to 28 million tonnes in 2022, according to experts’ forecasts. 

Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan are expected to account for no more than 3% of world grain production, but up to 25% of grain exports in the next 10 years. 

“Recognizing the region’s growing global importance, MAG Commodities has secured, through an affiliate, a strategic land holding on the Black Sea, where it will build a state-of-the-art grain terminal in the region,” said Joerg. The company has engaged leading engineering firms for the development of this project.

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