International commodity trading has experienced tumultuous times lately – mostly as a result of the state of the global economy, escalation in interest rates and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

However, as a consequence, this position has also created new markets and opportunities for commodity traders, particularly those trading in coal.

Many European countries have recently been sourcing commodities from countries with whom they have not traded commodities in the past due to the changes in the need to stockpile certain commodities and the risk of current trading partners not being able to meet demand.

Thungela Resources has recently signed a long-term agreement with Transnet pertaining to coal rail capacity and rates.

The agreement appears to have been aimed at mitigating future issues with rail infrastructure and capacity at the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT).

Transnet has in the past been unable to meet its obligations to coal suppliers, citing issues such as vandalism and a lack of trains.

The coal price has significantly increased after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which in turn has increased the need for proper infrastructure as traders attempt to utilise the favourable trading conditions.

Barnard's specialist commodities team is equipped to advise on all manner of commodity transactions, both on behalf of sellers and buyers, and in addition provide escrow services that facilitate the payments to be made in terms of the transactions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.