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Commodity traders are having an exceptional second half to the year.

Commodity trading bonuses will surely be wild this year

Everyone knew that commodities traders were doing well this year, but new data from market intelligence firm Coalition Greenwich suggests that the immensity of their revenues may have been underestimated.

Coalition Greenwich estimates that banking revenues from commodity trading will increase by over 60% this year compared to last. Growth has accelerated in the second half, when revenues are forecast to be up 88% in H2 2021. Given that bonuses are allocated around now, this surely bodes well for commodity trading pay.

Top commodity traders already earn eye watering sums. Last January, Goldman's top commodities traders were reportedly expecting to earn over $30m each for 2021. That's not on a par with traders' colossal earnings of pre-2008, when LIBOR traders like Christian Bittar were earning nine figure bonuses, but it's more than many markets professionals have earned for years. 

Not all commodities trading desks have done equally well in 2022. While revenues from trading softs (grown rather than mined resources such as wheat, corn, and livestock) have doubled this year and base metals and energy trading revenues are up circa 65%, revenues from trading precious metals fell in the first six months, after halving in value between 2010 and 2021.

Soaring revenues across all commodities desks help explain why top commodity traders like 38-year-old Anthony Dewell have gone from Goldman Sachs to Millennium in recent months: at Millennium bonuses won't be held back by poor revenues in the investment banking division. In London, generous awards could conceivably coincide with the lifting of the bonus cap.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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