A new era for futures markets is born in Argentina

Buenos Aires, December 28th. The year concludes with two great news for the futures markets. One: the volume hedged in the Matba reached a record volume of 44 million metric tons, versus 26.3 MMT in 2017. Two: MATBA’s shareholders approved the merger with Rofex, the other largest futures market in Argentina.

“Both are great news”, chairman of Matba, Marcos Hermansson, told to www.eFarmNewsAr. “This merger will provide huge opportunities to agribusiness chain. I use to say that in this case one plus one is much more than two”, he added. From December 28th, Mr. Hermansson is the vice-president of Matba-Rofex, the new society that unifies the future markets in the country, while Mr. Andres Ponte, former chairman of Rofex, continues as the leader of the new company.

“Both markets gave a first step ahead when in January 2017 we interconnected both platforms, and Matba’s operators were able to do it in Rofex and vice versa”, Hermansson explained.

Another key decision was moving the place of the wheat futures contracts from Buenos Aires (the historic place) to Rosario, on the Paraná River. The facts gave the reason for this decision: the volume of wheat contracts hedged at the Matba grew from 2.0 MMT in 2017 to 7.8 MMT this year.

But, probably, the main positive decision was the incorporation of “market makers” in the operation. After the analysis of some tenders, the leadership of the Matba approved the incorporation of BLD SA and ValCereales SA, as market makers.

“I think that was a right decision that created new clients to the future operations. They helped us to give more volume to our operation, and this is part of the explanation about why this year we reached a record volume of 44 million metric tons hedged in the Matba”, Mr. Hermansson commented.

BLD SA was created at the end of the XX Century and it showed a formidable growth since then. Led by Fabian Bini, today the company operates not only in grain markets but in financial too and developing investments like pork meat produce.

ValCereales was created in 1986 by former Matba chairman Ricardo Valderrama (died in 2017) and currently lead by Santiago Arce.

While the new company will be headed by a Rofex executive, the bulk grains operations come from Matba. According to Rofex’s statistics, during 2018 they operated 3,3 million metric tons of grains in future contracts.

“I think that this merger will enhance both former markets. Rofex was very strong operating the Soybean “Industry” future contract, versus the Soybean “Camara” condition contract operated by Matba. As we all know most of the Argentine soybean is bought by crushing plants, thus the Rofex contract was very useful, because the industry’s conditions are less strict that exporters ones”, Jorge Calandri, a trader based at Pergamino city, opined in dialogue with www.eFarmNewsAr.com

“I hope too many farmers, exporters, factories and speculators will use this new unified future market. I think that the wheat contracts will grow dramatically, as the national harvest is stabilizing around 20 million metric tons”, Mr. Calandri added.

This year, the volume of grain hedged in Argentine futures markets rounds 47.4 MMT, versus a harvest rounding 130 MMT. The challenge for the new merged market is increasing the operation to hedge, at least, a full harvest.

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