Grain Traders

Grain products constitute an extremely important part of our everyday life and grain traders play an important role in their supply. They account for much of our daily carbohydrate intake (bread, pasta, cereals and cakes); beverages (beer and alcoholic); renewable energy (ethanol). They are also are used to feed cattle, poultry, sheep and goats thus sustaining the global livestock farming process.

Redstone Commodity Search have a strong network within the global grain markets, particularly in the United States and Canada, Asia Pacific and EMEA. (See our United States job listings here and our Canada jobs here.)

All candidates are screened and interviewed for every position from grain traders to others to ensure their suitability and relevance to our clients’ requirements.

Our agriculture team has a deep understanding of the grain industry and has completed assignments across the globe; Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, USA and LATAM.

Recent hires our agriculture team has been responsible for included:

  • Grain Derivatives Trader, USA
  • Specialty Grain Trader, Canada
  • Corn Trader, USA
  • Soybean Trader, Singapore
  • DDGS and CGM Trader, USA
  • Operations and Logistics Officer, USA
  • Corn and Oilseeds Analyst, Switzerland

The Different Grains That are Traded

Grain trading can be broken down into two main categories:

Food Grade – This is grain intended for human consumption.

Examples include:

  • Organic corn
  • Durum wheat
  • Flax
  • Hard Red Wheat and Soft Red Wheat
  • Malting and Milling barley
  • Oats
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • White Wheat
  • Winter Wheat
  • Sorghum

Feed Grade – This is grain intended for animal consumption and often to raise livestock. It usually comes in the form of either meal or pellets.

  • Alfalfa pellets
  • Beet pulp
  • Canola meal and Canola pellets
  • Corn Gluten Pellets and Corn Gluten Meal (CGM)
  • Corn oil
  • Cottonseed
  • DDGS (Distiller’s dried grains with solubles)
  • Soybean hulls and Soybean meal
  • Wheat middlings
  • Rapeseed meal

There are also specialty grain products, such as edible beans, pulses, lentils, peas, mustard, chickpeas and organic products. These are typically traded in lower volumes than animal feed products.

How are Grains Traded?

To understand the grain trading industry, we have to look at the global trade flow. Grain usually originates from key producing areas, such as the Black Sea region and Ukraine, Australia, Latin America, Canada and the United States’ Midwest.

The grain is then sold to global markets in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) like Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Italy and Greece, South East Asia (Singapore, Indonesia and China), Europe, Canada and parts of the United States.

Larger volumes of grain (usually feed grade) are usually shipped in vessels and bulk carriers. The grain is usually also stored in elevators or silos. Some elevators can store up to one million bushels of corn, for example. Smaller quantities, common in specialty commodity trading and food grade can be shipped in containers and even transported via barge, road, truck and rail in domestic markets. Most of the time, traders and processors will sell their product either FOB (free on board) or CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight).

In addition, bodies such as the International Grains Council (IGC) exist to help with international cooperation and market stability for the global grains market.

Who are the Customers?

There are a range of customers, who buy the grain that is traded and who are the customers in the market. They include:

  • Animal feed mills
  • Aquaculture operators (fish farming)
  • Refineries (Biodiesel, ethanol and industrial refiners)
  • Other traders and smaller trading houses
  • Producers of grain-derived protein products
  • Wholesalers
  • Processors (e.g., soybean crush)

Cash grain trading is also dependant on highly efficient transportation and storage. A grain trader will have to work closely with operations, logistics and execution staff who can sign off trade agreements, inspect cargo and deal with ship-owners, shipbrokers and insurance agents.


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