Olam 'expanding in Brazil with grains, white-sugar trading'

A sugar cane plantation in Brazil. Olam's sugar business has hired Mr Toby Chamberlain as vice- president of white sugar trading.
A sugar cane plantation in Brazil. Olam's sugar business has hired Mr Toby Chamberlain as vice- president of white sugar trading.PHOTO: REUTERS

Olam International, one of the world's largest food traders, is expanding its presence in Brazil, according to people familiar with the matter.

The company has started trading grains in the South American country after hiring Cargill's Catia Jorge, said three of the people, who asked not to be identified.

Mr Danilo Caprara, an Olam trader who had previously been sent to London from Brazil, has returned to Sao Paulo to focus on white sugar, two people said.

Ms Nikki Barber, a spokesman for Olam in London, declined to comment on the expansion.

Olam first entered Brazil, the world's largest producer of sugar, coffee and orange juice, in 2002.

The company's trading in Latin America's largest economy started with cashew nuts.

It also handles coffee, cotton, spices and sesame, according to information on its website.

While Olam is better known for its involvement in soft-commodity markets such as coffee and cocoa, grains trading is becoming more important.

The company became active in the grains market in 2008 and its focus has been mostly on the Black Sea region and Africa.

Olam hired Mr Carl Desjardins earlier this year from what was then Grupo BTG Pactual's commodity unit to lead its grains team in Switzerland.

Olam's sugar business hired Mr Toby Chamberlain from Louis Dreyfus Co as vice-president of white sugar trading.

He started in May in London. At the time, Mr Chris Thompson, Olam's senior vice-president of sugar, said the company continued to build its white sugar business.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 21, 2016, with the headline 'Olam 'expanding in Brazil with grains, white-sugar trading''. Print Edition | Subscribe