|Claude Dauphin, (Chairman)
Jeremy Weir, (CEO)
|Revenue||US$ 127.6 billion (2014)|
|US$ 2.2 billion (2013)|
Number of employees
Trafigura Beheer BV is a Dutch multinational commodity trading company founded in 1993 that trades in base metals and energy, including oil. It is the world's third largest private oil and metals trader after Vitol and Glencore.
Trafigura was set up by Claude Dauphin and Eric de Turckheim. It split off from a group of companies managed by Marc Rich in 1993. Before his death, in Septembre 2015, Dauphin owned less than 20% of the company, with the rest owned by 500 senior staff.
Trafigura has been named or involved in several scandals, particularly the 2006 Côte d'Ivoire toxic waste dump, which left up to 100,000 people with skin rashes, headaches and respiratory problems. The company was also involved in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Scandal.
Trafigura has built or purchased stakes in pipelines, mines, smelters, ports and storage terminals.
Trafigura Beheer BV was established as a private group of companies in 1993 by six founding partners: Claude Dauphin, Eric de Turckheim, Graham Sharp, Antonio Cometti, Daniel Posen and Mark Crandall. Claude Dauphin, Executive Chairman and the last remaining founder in an executive position, owns less than 20 per cent of the group’s equity while more than 700 senior managers control the rest. Initially focused on three regional markets – South America (oil and minerals), Eastern Europe (metals) and Africa (oil) – Trafigura has since diversified and expanded globally. In November 2013 it was announced that Tory peer and former leader of the House of Lords Baron Strathclyde, Thomas Galbraith would be joining Trafigura as a non-executive director. He had previously stood down from the board of the group’s hedge fund arm following the 2009 controversy over the Côte d'Ivoire incident.
In February 2013 Trafigura invested $800 million in the Australian energy market, acquiring more than 250 petrol stations, two oil import terminals and five fuel depots in three separate acquisitions by its subsidiary Puma Energy. At the time, there was interest in Australia among energy traders due to a combination of rising demand and the closure of outdated, high-cost refineries. The same month, Trafigura joint venture DT Group partnered with Angola’s state oil firm Sonangol to form a new company, Sonaci DT Pte Ltd, to market Angola’s new liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
In March 2013, Trafigura announced a deal with South Sudan to export Dar Blend crude oil from Port Sudan. The agreement with South Sudan was a continuation of Trafigura’s longtime presence in the Sudanese oil market and followed the resolution of a legal dispute between Sudan and South Sudan over transit fees and oil revenues.
In October 2013 Trafigura secured USD 1.5 billion in financing for an upfront loan to Russian oil producer OAO Rosneft. The prepayment facility, which provided a loan for advance payment for more than 10 million tons of products over five years, was the largest such deal ever completed by Trafigura.
A month later Trafigura signed an agreement with Dallas-based pipeline operator Energy Transfer Partners to transport crude oil and condensate via a partially converted 82-mile pipeline from the Eagle Ford oil field in McMullen County, Texas, to Trafigura’s deep-water terminal at Corpus Christi Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico.
In October 2013 Trafigura subsidiary Impala Terminals became a majority shareholder in the 100-year-old Ferrocarril del Pacífico (Colombia) (FDP), Pacific Railroad. The company is restoring the Colombian cargo railway, which connects the Pacific port of Buenaventura with Colombia’s industrial heartland.
In July 2014 Trafigura launched Lykos, an online platform in India to sell metals to small and medium-sized manufacturers in the country.
In June 2015 Trafigura announced a 50:50 joint venture with Abu Dhabi investment company Mubadala Development Company —to invest in base metals mining. As part of the agreement Mubadala also acquired a 50% Trafigura’s Minas de Aguas Teñidas (Matsa) mining operation, which owns three mines in southern Spain that produce copper, zinc and lead concentrate ores. This followed a doubling of processing capacity at the company’s MATSA mining operation in Andalusia, Spain, where two new satellite mines are also being developed.
In August 2015 it was reported that Trafigura subsidiary Impala Terminals is investing USD1 billion in Colombia to develop a new inland road, rail and river network connecting major coastal ports with Colombia’s industrial heartland. The Magdalena River, which runs between Barrancabermeja inland and Barranquilla on the Atlantic coast, will allow transportation of crude oil and petroleum products, dry bulk, containerised and general cargo to and from inland Colombia.
The company was named in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Scandal in connection with a Liberian-registered turbine tanker, Essex, that had UN approval to load Iraqi crude at Iraq’s main export terminal at Mina al-Bakr. The tanker was chartered by Trafigura Beheer BV. According to her captain, Theofanis Chiladakis, the Essex was 'topped off' at least twice, with a total of 272,000 barrels of crude, after UN monitors had signed off the cargo. This was on 13 May and 27 August 2001. Elf Aquitaine employees had first talked about this scheme in February 1998.
Waste dumping in Côte d'Ivoire
The 2006 Côte d'Ivoire toxic waste dump was a health crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in which the Probo Koala, a ship registered in Panama and chartered by Trafigura, hired a local contractor to offload waste in Abidjan after refusing to pay a €1,000 per cubic metre surcharge imposed by Amsterdam Port Services to discourage waste disposal in the Netherlands. The local contractor, Tommy, improperly dumped the waste materials at as many as 12 sites in and around the city of Abidjan in August 2006. The gas caused by the release of these chemicals is blamed by the UN and the government of Côte d'Ivoire for the deaths of 17 and the injury of over 30,000 Ivorians, with injuries that ranged from mild headaches to severe burns of skin and lungs. Almost 100,000 Ivorians sought medical attention after prime minister Charles Konan Banny offered free medical care in Abidjan’s hospitals to the city’s residents.
Trafigura maintains that the substance dumped consisted of "slops", or waste water from washing the Probo Koala's tanks. An inquiry in the Netherlands, in late 2006, confirmed the substance to consist of more than 500 tonnes of a mix of fuel, hydrogen sulfide, and Sodium hydroxide, known as caustic soda. After the start of the health crisis in Abidjan, the Probo Koala arrived at the port of Paldiski in Estonia where Trafigura permitted Dutch police onboard to conduct an investigation.
Trafigura denied any waste was transported from the Netherlands, saying that the substances contained only tiny amounts of hydrogen sulfide, and that the company did not know the substance was to be disposed of improperly. Trafigura officials, including Claude Dauphin and the company’s West Africa regional director, traveled to Abidjan to assist in the cleanup effort but were arrested and imprisoned by the Ivorian government. While its executives were being held, the company agreed to pay US$198 million for cleanup to the Ivorian government without admitting wrongdoing, and the Ivorian government pledged not to prosecute the company. Dauphin and his fellow executives were released following the settlement.
In 2008 a civil lawsuit in London was launched by almost 30,000 Ivorians against Trafigura. In May 2009 Trafigura announced it would sue the BBC for libel after its Newsnight program alleged the company had knowingly sought to cover up its role in the incident. In September 2009 The Guardian obtained and published internal Trafigura emails showing that the traders responsible knew how dangerous the chemicals were. Shortly afterwards Trafigura agreed to a settlement of £30 million (US$42.4 million) to settle the suit. In 2010 a Dutch court found Trafigura guilty of illegally exporting toxic waste from Amsterdam. On 16 June 2016, law firm Leigh Day, which represented the Ivorian claimants, was found guilty of negligence after £6 million of the 2009 settlement funds were embezzled.
Chemical explosion in Norway
On 24 May 2007 an explosion occurred in Sløvåg Gulen, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway in a tank owned by Vest Tank, that had severe environmental and health consequences for people living nearby. In 2008 the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation published the 50 min documentary "Dirty Cargo" disclosing what had happened in the small community prior to the explosion. The company Vest Tank was trying to neutralize the same kind of chemical waste that was dumped in Côte d'Ivoire when the explosion occurred. The owner of the waste was Trafigura, on whose behalf Vest Tank was working. Even so, Norwegian authorities did not prosecute Trafigura and the company was not accused of direct responsibility in the Vest Tank incident. Requests by Norwegian police to interview Trafigura employees were not granted by the company.
Bond issuances and reported earnings
In 2008, the company had equity of more than $2 billion and a turnover of $73 billion that generated $440 million of profit.
The following month Trafigura listed its first perpetual subordinated bond on the Singapore Exchange (SGX) at a fixed rate of 7.625%. The issuance raised $500m in long-term capital that is treated as equity by international accounting rules, leaving existing shareholders undiluted.
In 2013 as a consequence of the Singapore listing, Trafigura released financial statements for the first time, reporting Q1 profits of $216.1 million – up 3.2 per cent on the previous year. Revenue grew 7.9 per cent to USD 31.2 billion.
Price fixing in Malta
In February 2013, Trafigura Maritime Ventures Limited—the Malta based subsidiary of Trafigura Maritime Logistics PTE Limited based in Singapore—and the oil trading arm of Total became involved in an oil price fixing controversy that led them to both be barred from the tendering process at the Enemalta oil purchasing board. Between 1999 and 2012, Enemalta paid the two companies $3.2 billion for oil, accounting for 70% of the oil purchased by Enemalta in that time period.
Trade of toxic diesel to Africa
In 2016, the Swiss non-governmental organisation Public Eye published the results of its investigation showing how traders – especially Trafigura – prepare and sell "African quality" toxic fuel to Africa, containing high levels of sulphur that causes particulate matter pollution, damaging people's health. Subsequently, Ghana reduced the maximum limit of sulphur in imported diesel fuel from 3000 to 50 parts per million, from March 2017 (the European limit is 10 parts per million). Trafigura stated that the report was "misconceived" as they only supply legal fuel and that it is up to governments to set fuel specifications.
Trafigura operates 65 offices in 36 countries.
Trafigura is the third-largest physical commodities trading group in the world behind Vitol and Glencore. Trafigura sources, stores, blends and transports raw materials including oil, refined petroleum products and non-ferrous metals (iron ore and coal).
Trade in non-ferrous and bulk commodities – mainly copper, lead and zinc concentrate, alumina, refined metals of copper, lead, zinc and aluminium as well as the iron ore and coal trading books – made up 15% of Trafigura’s overall trading turnover in 2013. The group traded 32.9 million metric tons of non-ferrous and bulk commodities during 2013.
In January 2013, Trafigura bought three medium-range crude oil tankers to add to the existing six vessels that are operated by the joint venture company DT Group, and in May 2013 confirmed its order for up to eight medium-range product tankers. In 2013 Trafigura's fleet of chartered tonnage consisted of between 50 and 60 tankers and 30 to 40 bulkers at any given time.
In the year ending 30 September 2014 trading volumes in oil and petroleum products increased 2 percent to 120.4 million metric tons, or more than 2.5 million barrels a day. Volumes in minerals and metals – mainly copper, lead and zinc concentrate, alumina, refined metals of copper, lead, zinc and aluminium as well as the iron ore and coal trading books - grew 49 percent to 49.1 million tons as Trafigura became one of the three largest traders of coal.
In support of its arbitrage-based business model, Trafigura ensures a degree of control over supply, storage and logistics through industrial subsidiaries: oil storage and distribution business Puma Energy, in which Trafigura holds a 49% interest.
Some of Trafigura's major international units include:
- Trafigura Beheer BV, based in the Netherlands. In 1999 it became the first company to obtain a contract to sell Sudan's oil internationally.
- Impala Group of Companies, which operate the group’s worldwide oil storage and distribution assets and investments has been a wholly owned subsidiary since 2001. Puma Energy operates in more than 20 countries, mainly in Central America and Africa, and supplies a network of just over 600 service stations. On 7 May 2012, Puma entered into an agreement to buy out the key shareholders in KenolKobil, the largest independent oil marketing company in east and central Africa, which could add 400 stations to its network. However, Puma Energy later terminated its bid to acquire oil marketer.
- EMINCAR, based in La Habana, Cuba until 2010. Dedicated to consulting and mineral logistics administration.
- Galena Asset Management, based in London and FSA registered, is the subsidiary through which Trafigura has established and manages a fund management business. Lord Strathclyde, the leader of the Conservative Party in the House of Lords, is a non-executive director on the board, although he has stated his intent to stand down from this post.[when?]
- "2014 Trafigura Financials".
- "2014 Trafigura Financials" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-07-24.
- Rob Evans (23 July 2010). "Trafigura fined €1m for exporting toxic waste to Africa". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
- Ammann, Daniel (2009). The King of Oil: The Secret Lives of Marc Rich. New York: St. Martin‘s Press. ISBN 0-312-57074-0.
- Leigh, David (16 September 2009). "Inside Trafigura: Accusations, sour deals and friends in high places". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-09-17.
- Blas, Javier (28 January 2013). "Trafigura boss doubts rally will return". Financial Times. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
- Ball, James; Davies, Harries (23 July 2015). "UK authorities 'lack resources' to investigate Trafigura over toxic waste".
- Hoffman, Andy (8 December 2014). "Trafigura Gross Margin Widens After Oil, Coal Volumes Climb". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Blas, Javier; Sakoui, Anousha (11 March 2010). "Publicity-shy Trafigura pushes for bond issue". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "U.S. Rare Earth: co-créateur de Trafigura au conseil" [U.S. Rare Earth : co-creator of Trafigura board]. L’AGEFI (in French). Geneva. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Serafin, Tatiana (2 August 2013). "Riding Glencore Wave, Commodity Trader Claude Dauphin Becomes a Billionaire". Forbes. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
- "Bond Prospectus 17 Apr 2013". (1.4 MB)
- Blas, Javier; Farchy, Jack (14 April 2013). "Trafigura adds Lord Strathclyde to board". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Blas, Javier (3 June 2011). "Big traders emerge from the shadows as demand grows". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- "Mining Journal - Trader Trafigura buys 8% of Norilsk". Retrieved 2010-12-21.
- "Trafigura to Spend $68 Million on Australian Import Terminal". Hellenic Shipping News. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Shumsky, Tatyana (28 February 2013). "Trafigura's Puma Energy Snaps Up Central Combined Group". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Blas, Javier (3 February 2013). "Trafigura bets $800m on Australia energy". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Farge, Emma (28 February 2013). "Angola, Trafigura JV form LNG trading group". Reuters. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Farge, Emma (27 March 2013). "Trafigura signs oil export deal with South Sudan". Reuters. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Editorial, Reuters. "UPDATE 2-Trafigura signs oil export deal with South Sudan". Reuters UK. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Kent, Sarah (4 October 2013). "Trafigura Signs $1.5B Prepayment Deal For Rosneft Supply". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Murtaugh, Dan (7 November 2013). "Energy Transfer to Covert Texas Gas Pipeline to Carry Crude". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Pickrell, Emily (7 November 2013). "New crude pipeline provides more access to Gulf Coast for Eagle Ford". Fuel Fix. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- Cuervo Plazas, Zulma Lucía (5 January 2015). ""El tren volvió para quedarse": gerente de Ferrocarril del Pacífico" ["The train came to stay" manager Pacific Railway]. El Pais (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Trafigura to buy 30 pct of Jinchuan copper smelter in China". Reuters. 21 February 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Trafigura targets $8 bln India metals market with online store". The Financial Express. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Zhdannikov, Dmitry (29 June 2015). "Abu Dhabi buys into Trafigura's Spanish mines as part of new venture". Reuters. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Trafigura announces strong 2014 results; confident future outlook". Commodities Now. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Place, Michael (10 August 2015). "Colombia's river of dreams". Business News Americas. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- Kuchinsky, Valery (2001-12-31). "Letter from the Acting Chairman of the Security Council Committee (sic) concerning the situation between Iraq and Kuwait" (PDF). United Nations, New York, USA: United Nations Security Council. p. 26. Retrieved 2010-07-25.
Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to take the same measure with regard to the company Trafigura Beheer B.V. On 23 November, the Office of the Iraq Programme provided the Committee with proposals for additional operating procedures for crude oil monitoring.
- Hoyos, Carola (2005-10-28). "Big oil groups implicated in oil-for-food scandal". Financial Times. Retrieved 2007-05-18.
- "Probo Koala: the cargo and journey of the Trafigura-chartered supertanker - LE SCANDALE DU PROBO KOALA". LE SCANDALE DU PROBO KOALA. 2016-08-08. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "Ivory Coast Government Panel Releases Toxic Waste Findings". Voice of America. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
- Papers prove Trafigura ship dumped toxic waste in Ivory Coast. David Leigh and Afua Hirsch. The Guardian, Thursday 14 May 2009
- "In pictures: Ivorian toxic waste" bbc.co.uk Link 7 September 2006.
- Trafigura to pay $198 mln settlement to Ivory Coast. Reuters. 13 February 2007.
- "Trafigura execs released after Ivory Coast deal". Reuters. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- The Guardian, 17 September 2009, How UK oil company Trafigura tried to cover up African pollution disaster
- "Trafigura found guilty of exporting toxic waste". BBC. 23 July 2010. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
- "UK law firm faces payout over missing Trafigura compensation". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "Vest Tank sweetened coker gasoline". NRK. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "A small pawn in the game". NRK. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "Coker gasoline – low quality". NRK. 2008-06-24. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- "Trafigura refuses to aid fire inquiry". The Independent. 2009-09-26. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- Blas, Javier; Pearson, Samantha (31 March 2010). "Trafigura to sell €400m in Eurobonds". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Peaple, Andrew (12 April 2013). "Trafigura Bond Opens Up Traders' World". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Pierre Lorinet, CFO Trafigura and Javier Blas, FT commodities editor (16 April 2013). Bond markets lure trading houses. Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Blas, Javier; Farchy, Jack (10 April 2013). "Trafigura raises $500m with perpetual bond". Financial Times. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
- Blas, Javier (20 December 2012). "Trafigura earns nearly $1bn twice in a row". Financial Times. Retrieved 28 May 2013.
- Narayanan, Pratish (23 April 2013). "Trafigura Profit Rises as Increased Oil Volumes Boost Revenue". Bloomberg. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Trafigura and Total are barred from fuel tenders". Times of Malta. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Trafigura, TOTSA paid $3.2 billion for fuel oil in 13 years". MaltaToday.com.mt. Retrieved 2016-12-01.
- "Dirty Diesel: Return to Sender", campaign of Public Eye, including the report Dirty Diesel - How Swiss Traders Flood Africa with Toxic Fuels (page visited on 25 October 2016). The results of the investigation of Public Eye was relayed by media such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Le monde, Le temps, Al Jazeera, the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Le Journal du Mali, the Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation.
- BBC News, "Fuel 'too dirty' for Europe sold to Africa", British Broadcasting Corporation, 15 September 2016 (page visited on 25 October 2016).
- (French) Sébastien Dubas, "« Dans certains pays d’Afrique, la pollution tue davantage que les principales maladies »", Le temps, 7 November 2016 (page visited on 7 November 2016).
- (French) Marc Guéniat, "Marée noire sur le négoce de carburants", Public Eye – Le magazine, number 2, November 2016, pages 15-17.
- "De l'air pollué livré à un négociant en carburant". 20 minutes (in French). 7 November 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
- "Trafigura 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Irish Stock Exchange. 2014. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- Geoff, Hiscock (14 April 2014). "Global commodity traders get deal fever". The Australian. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- Blas, Javier (20 April 2010). "Rare glimpse as Trafigura debuts". The Financial Times. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- "Bond Prospectus 11 Feb 2014". (1.33 MB)
- Hoffman, Andy (16 December 2013). "Trafigura Weighs Sale of Stake in Impala Amid Squeeze on Margins". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- Sheridan, Rob (21 January 2013). "Trafigura Agrees to Buy Oil-Product Tankers as Ship Returns Gain". Bloomberg. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
- Kelley, Aaron (28 May 2013). "Trafigura confirms buy". Trade Winds. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- "Trafigura confirms buy". Trade Winds. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- "Trafigura announces strong 2014 results; confident future outlook". Commodities Now. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
- "Trafigura hands $885m to Top Executives via buyback". Financial Times. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
- Sormani, Angela (10 January 2013). "Galena Closes First Tranche of Resource Fund". PE Hub. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
- Douglas Hamilton Johnson (January 16, 2003). The root causes of Sudan's civil wars. International African Institute in association with James Currey. p. 163. ISBN 978-0-85255-392-3. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
- "KenolKobil - Cautionary Statement". KenolKobil. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- "$800m KenolKobil price tag 'too high for Puma'". The EastAfrican. Nation Media Group. March 9, 2013. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- Juma, Victor (2013-03-01). "Puma drops bid to acquire KenolKobil". Business Daily Africa. Nation Media Group. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
- David Leigh and Rob Evans, "Lord Strathclyde severs links with oil trader Trafigura after waste scandal", The Guardian, 17 September 2009.
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- Trafigura website
- Trafigura companies grouped at OpenCorporates
- Trafigura press releases regarding the Côte d'Ivoire waste dumping incident
- NRK Brennpunkt Trafigura and the Minton report
- Leigh, David. "The Trafigura files and how to read them". The Guardian, 16 September 2009. This introduces: Internal Trafigura emails and letters regarding the Côte d'Ivoire waste dumping incident (PDF file, 7.9 MiB). The Guardian.
- Minton Report and related documents, Wikileaks