Swiss trading house Mercuria has shut down its London-based emissions trading desk, Carbon Pulse has learned, though the company said it remains active in the market.
Traders Benedikt von Butler and Ed Cook, who made up Mercuria’s London-based carbon desk, both parted ways with the company late last year, sources said late last week.
Jean-Francois Steels, the company’s head of emissions and biomass trading based out of the company’s Geneva office, has turned his main focus to crude oil but still looks at carbon, they added.
“We can confirm that Mercuria is still active in carbon markets … [but] we are responsive to the supply and demand dynamics and as the market dictates, we are adjusting our strategy and resources dedicated to this area,” a Mercuria spokesman told Carbon Pulse.
Mercuria was once one of the largest players in the European and international carbon markets, having bought low-carbon project developers EcoSecurities from JP Morgan in 2013 and MGM International from Morgan Stanley and the company’s founders in 2010.
By 2011, Mercuria boasted a trading and origination business with at least six staff in Europe, but it has since slashed its activities in this asset class as the market has contracted.
Last week, it announced that Chinese chemical giant Chemchina had bought a 12% stake in the firm, in a deal that will deepen Mercuria’s ties to China and open the door for more oil exports to the energy-hungry nation.
Another London-based emissions trader, Ariel Perez, parted ways with Mercuria a year ago, and has since joined Hartree Partners to help build an emissions desk at the global merchant commodities trading firm.
Hartree has also recently hired David Hill, formerly a quantitative analyst on European energy markets at Eclipse Energy Group, as a fundamental analyst covering European emissions, as well as power, coal, gas and freight markets out of its London office, Carbon Pulse has learned.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org