STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 5

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STiR tea & coffee industry international 47 E By Dan Bolton Mobile Commodity Trading Software A scalable commodity procurement and trading platform from Agiboo urope is the heart of the global coffee trade and this year's SCAE Nordic World of Coffee in Gothenburg, Sweden drew representatives from some of the most influential commodity houses. The show floor included traders from List & Beisler and Neu- mann Kaffee Gruppe, in Germany; DRWakefield in London; BELCO in France; Sandalj Trading in Italy; and SNV Nether- lands along with smaller traders like Nordic Approach, Norway. Few people appreciate mobility more than traders who man- age an incredibly complex task on the run. That's why I was interested in their recommendation that I check out Agiboo, a Netherlands firm known for its software solutions in sugar ( Bart Kroon, c.e.o. and co-founder Jan van den Brom, who manages sales, introduced their commodity trade and risk man- agment tools using unique touch screen interface they named Agriblocks. The large screen was organized into 24 tasks that include currency exchange, transport, deliveries, futures, and options. A dashboard organizes choices. Touching a tile instantly dis- plays top level insights. Continuing to touch pop-ups lets users drill down to a sales invoice, for example, or bill of lading. More impressive yet is the real-time display of inter-related tasks such as market risk based on commodity prices and cur- rency exchange. A market-to-market analysis by the powerful relational database driving the system lets you stress-test simula- tions to guide hedging. Hedging and hedge allocation in Agiblocks is supported on a portfolio level but also on a specific contract or even a number of bags or boxes. Commodity trading, transaction and risk management soft- ware (CTRM) automates trading tasks. Initially designed for the largest commodity traders, gradually it has evolved to more flex- ible, off-the-shelf solutions useful in smaller trades. Several companies offer solutions including Generation 10 which was at the show ( and Eka Plus ( and Tradepaq TPQ ( Agiboo was founded in 2011 with the promise to eliminate coding and integrate numerous interrelated trading chores. "Margins are thin in coffee and CTRM allows traders to auto- mate to a large extent the administration and execution of the trade," explains van den Brom. "This reduces back office costs and enhances risk control," he said. In a complex trade book it is essential to be informed at all times about the trade position, he said. "Traders are always asking themselves, 'am I long, or short in which month? Am I hedged? Did I price all the contracts?' " The volatility of the market makes it critical to know what can be sold. "Agiblocks gives you quick insight into inventory and origins inbound and tracks coffee qualities so you can de- liver the client the right coffee at the right moment," he said. "Trading requires a lot of flexibility in logistics including splitting and combining containers, truckloads, and even pal- lets," he said. Agiblocks tracks physical characteristics of the coffee includ- ing grades, certifications, screen sizes, cupping scores displayed as spider graphs and data from multiple samples. Descriptions of defects and flavor profile can be connected to contracts and inventory, allowing the trader to provide detailed information to the client about quality and taste which allows buy- ers to create an exceptional blend, said van den Brom. Kroon joined van den Brom in 2014 after a 20-year career in commodity trading. "Before joining Agiboo I never experi- enced such a nice piece of software. It is intuitive, agile and flexible, and easy to drill down with reports at all levels visible and full functionality on your mobile device," he said. Agiblocks blocks matured in 2014 which led the company to finalize its first implementations in sugar, cocoa, and coffee, said Kroon who has exhibited at the National Coffee Association and COTECA 2014. "There is an awful lot of coffee in the world and a wide variety of trading practices. Different geographical regions accept either bulk delivery or sacks, weights are in metric tons and pounds and bags," said van den Brom. "In a world of volatile coffee prices, hedging and risk man- agement are important even on small volumes and contribute to an optimized margin," he said. Agiblocks helps customers obtain that margin, said Kroon, "Anytime, anyplace with just a click."

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