How do you judge the current situation in the commodities market?

We are experiencing a generalised price increase of raw materials and semi-finished products, from agricultural products, to energy and industrial metals.

The three major product families show different dynamics and in some way the increases have different drivers, there may be important distinctions, but prices are record-breaking in all the main components of the basket. Although these are still synthetic indexes that should be analysed in detail, we can mention that the “energy” component has risen proportionally much more in the last three months than the “metals” and “agri” components, which have moved with a similar profile. Notwithstanding the due differentiation, it is all consequence of imbalance between supply and demand that has not been seen for years, so much so as to cause speculation that we are at the beginning of a so-called “supercycle”.

What are the reasons for this series of price increases? It is not just the fault of the pandemic…

Certainly not, in fact perhaps more “fault” of post-pandemic optimism. The fundamental element that leads to a price increase as pronounced as the one we are facing, is the presence of demand – actual or expected – that supply is unable to meet. As anticipated, the different commodity families follow different dynamics, it is however true that several events seem to have concentrated these years, to “prepare the ground”. We could mention: (i) last year’s floods in China and drought in parts of Latin America that have affected the availability of some agricultural products. (ii) the already very low levels of pre-covid industrial metal inventories, due to the industrial recession that most of mature economies were in, already during 2019. (iii) the further slowdown in production and consumption, combined with uncertainty during 2020, which has further reduced inventory levels.

As consequence, the post-covid recovery producing strong demand in most of the supply-chains has triggered a significant apparent demand – amplified by the need to restore stocks – accompanied by a slow recovery in production activities, hence low availability of supply.

Similarly, post-covid recovery forecasts have had an impact on energy, following the reduction of mining activity during the 2020s, when prices had fallen to economically unsustainable levels. You may recall the paradox of negative prices on oil…

For all sectors, we then add that logistics capacity, trivially shipping capacity, is given – adding new ships takes years and production plans are defined – so even if if we imagine, which is not the case in reality, that production and extraction capacities could be adjusted in a short time, logistics would become the bottleneck. In fact, we’ve also seen impressive surge in costs associated with shipping. An important cost component that ultimately affects the consumer price of finished products.

Which of the markets causes the most concern?

This question is difficult to answer, both in terms of geography and product. We are talking about commodities or essential goods, so by definition we should be concerned about all of them, because to some degree they all impact our lives

We might think that we could live a normal life without some products that we consider “accessory”, almost a fad like coffee or cocoa, but if we weigh up the matter in depth, we will realise how many economic activities are involved and depend in part on these products, how many companies depend on them – from production to the trade of finished products – making them extremely important for our economies and, consequently, for our lives.

In general, we could say that wherever there is geopolitical instability, there is concern.

There are those who hypothesise the imminent beginning of a so-called supercycle…what does that mean?

It is an open debate in the last months. Cyclicality is a typical, I would say genetic, characteristic of commodities, but a super-cycle occurs when commodities are traded for a rather long period – typically around a decade or more – at a price higher than medium-term trends, prior to the beginning of the positive cycle, which then becomes a “super-cycle”.

From the beginning of 1900 to today I think we can identify 4 super cycles: (i) at the beginning of the century, on the back of industrialisation and urbanisation of the United States, then continuing with the arms race of the First World War, with a peak around the end of the war, but ended with the crisis of 1930. (ii) starting from the Second World War with the need for materials dictated by war necessities, followed by the post-war period with the needs for reconstruction, lasting until 1960. (iii) a third cycle between the ’70s and ’80s, when economic growth highlighted in particular the limits of energy availability. (iv) and finally the early 2000s when the BRICS, especially China new member of the WTO, with their growth have contributed strong consumption of raw materials to support their economic development, until the global crisis of 2008 and for some products until 2014, when China reached the saturation of its market and reversed the trend by exporting the surplus, in combination with the surplus of global oil availability.

As you can see, these long cycles are often initiated by rather sudden events – mostly difficult to foresee reasonably in advance – that generated strong growth in demand to which the supply side could not respond as quickly.

Increasing mining capacity takes a long time, a mine takes years to get up to speed, not to mention the time needed to identify reserves. The same is true for plants producing semi-finished aluminium products or steel, which take years to build. And similarly we consider oil, gas, or agriculture. When demand remains steadily high, this time lag generates super cycles. When supply and logistics capacity finally adjust to satisfy the demand, prices stabilise.

It is natural that in regimes of low prices, general uncertainty and stable or even low demand – as in recent years – suppliers do not invest in expanding production, or extraction capacity. In some industries, there have even been closures of inefficient, or environmentally impactful, plants without the lost capacity being replaced by more modern facilities. There was simply no need.

The post-covid momentum, expectations for widespread investment plans and declared modernisation strategies in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability, generated a sudden need that, in combination with low inventory levels, immediately spilled over upstream, where supply capacity is clearly insufficient, with two consequences: 1) price growth 2) shortage of immediate available goods, with planning for the availability of required products, far into the future.

However, whether this is a prelude to a super-cycle has yet to be demonstrated. In reality, we will find out as we live. Part of the apparent low supply is dictated by low initial stock levels, the demand related to the need to restore stocks to normal levels is an important component of the current apparent demand, when this will be satisfied, we will have to see where the real demand levels will settle. Similarly, part of the reduced supply was dictated by the containment plans for covid – less hours worked, plants shut down slowly re-starting operations – the return to normal and the return of production facilities to full capacity will satisfy some of the peak demand in a reasonably short time. Basically, the reaction on the supply side could be rapid, at least to cover part of the apparent demand.

On the other hand, in the medium-long term, we can imagine that all stimulus and investment measures that states are implementing will remain, in combination with relatively low interest rates and the wave of investments linked to sustainability. If the combination of these elements prevails, it is not excluded that we will see a super-cycle.

What would be the consequences of a super-cycle?

Natural consequences are the engine of a healthy ecosystem. Higher prices generate margins that producers can re-invest in research and expansion of production capacity, thus re-balancing the supply/demand relationship, generating and redistributing economic value with all parties involved in the projects.

The shortage of supply also leads to the search for substitutes, or more efficient production models, along the various supply chains. Opportunities are created for sometimes disruptive innovations, new economic initiatives are born, and healthy competition based on the creation of lasting value is nurtured.

Basically, it is a flywheel for societies – and this is demonstrated by the 4 cases cited – historically it greatly supports economic and social development. It is no coincidence that the composite index of the price of “non-oil” raw materials moves in a synchronized manner with respect to global gross domestic product. This has been a fact since the end of the 19th century.

Bruno Mazzarelli
Commercial and logistic manager

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

Oil & Bio Trade SA founded in Switzerland, it is a professional provider of renewable energy services and solutions that improves access and promotes the adoption of clean and energy-efficient technologies. The company is in step to realize the development of a green economy with low emissions and resource efficiency.

Oil & Bio Trade SA is focused on the biofuel sector, with the prevalence of BIODIESEL and the related research of organic raw materials for their production (vegetable oils, waste oils, animal fats and fatty acids).

Thanks to the team and the network of internationally qualified experts for the certification of sustainability and product tracking, it develops technologies and methods for the realization of circular economies such as waste-to-fuel and supports international players for clean energy transition through strategic agreements in the field of distribution and logistics. The commercial support activity is also offered in the shipping sector through the collaboration with shipowners and charterers.

Equipped with SGS certification according to the ISCC (INTERNATIONAL SUSTAINABILITY AND CARBON CERTIFICATION) scheme and therefore authorized to trade biofuels, semi-processed and raw materials (UCO, Animal Fat, POME), representing for the supply chain the network between feed-stock producers and large companies that use them for the production of biofuels. The Oil & Bio Trade operates in all the European market and Far East.     

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

Many institutions are looking for us, because in the coming years the HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil) and Bio Jet Fuel market will have great margin of development.

Sustainability is now part of our lives, and our society is focused on the “green behaviour”.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

The perspectives for our business is sharp increase in the ADVANCED Bio Fuels production (Bio diesel By Used cooked oil and Animal Fat).  The mix in Gasoil 10 ppm in European market is mandatory and, increases from year to year. Now in Europe (EU) the percentage has increased to 10% (B10) and the most important Oil companies in the world, are investing heavily in the creation of Bio fuel plants.

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Be part of a solid and established trading community is a key point for our company and Lugano under this aspect is offering interesting opportunity. For our business the nearness to Milan and Geneva is very important. And we hope that soon the Lugano Airport can reopen the flights with the most important city in Europe as London, or fundamental connection with Zurich or Geneva. We also hope the financial community, can in the future support our growth in this business competition.  

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

LCTA is a very useful tool to build contacts, public relations and to meet people who work in the field of commodities trading. Before covid -19 there were many opportunities to participate in really interesting conferences and so important to create network. Hoping soon to be able to see each other again and to continue to get to know people and company.           

Andrea Organista
Chartering Manager

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

The main activity of our company is to manage (commercially and technically) and operate vessel and cargoes into the dry bulk sector. We mainly focus our attention on the handysize market up to the Ultramax one. We do manage technically more then 30 ships and have at the moment a super eco Japan built Ultramax on charter for long period.       

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

During 2020 we have been affected relatively by the covid-19, solely in Q2 2020, where the time charter rates into the dry bulk market reached very low levels. From that moment onwards we noticed a constant increase on the freight market and on daily hire rates likewise.

The gauge of activity in the dry bulk spectrum is roaring during the first four trading weeks of 2021, balancing at unusual for this time of year heights. In particular, the main trends for the fall/winter 2020-2021 look very promising. Averaging between 43.2% and 31.1% above the corresponding periods of 2019-2020 and 2018-2019 respectively, Baltic Dry Index seems to have left behind the exogenous shocks of Covid-19 initial jolt in early 2020. Additionally, exceptionally cold weather sweeping through China has materially increased power demand, having a positive bearing to Baltic indices as well.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

After an estimated sharp contraction of 3.5 per cent in 2020, global economy is projected to grow a solid 5.5 per cent in 2021 and 4.2 per cent in 2022, according to the latest update of IMF world economic outlook. Indicative of the global economy course reversal is the fact that the Fund has revised its 2020 estimate 0.9 percentage points higher than projected in the October WEO forecast. The fundamentals of the sector are trending the dry bulk in a positive way for the 2021 year, since the order book has never been so low during the last decade and the booming outlook for the world economies is promising.

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Being part of a solid and established trading community is a key point for our company and Lugano under this aspect is offering interesting opportunity. This city and in particular its eco-system can absolutely advantage companies that works and operate in our fields.

Lugano is the 3rd most important city when it comes to business in Switzerland and has always been very attractive for investors. Lastly, on a personal note, for someone like us that have always been related to the sea, as we come from Naples, to still be connected to this element  through the lake is definitely a plus.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

LCTA’s activity can help different backgrounds to match for business opportunities and can boost the networking process into the trading/shipping and finance fields.          

La Lugano Commodity Trading Association (LCTA) è un’associazione senza scopo di lucro e riunisce aziende attive nell’ambito del commercio di materie prime, delle spedizioni, delle assicurazioni e del finanziamento di questo settore. Nel 2020 la LCTA ha festeggiato i suoi primi 10 anni e dopo un decennio, il Presidente Thomas Patrick ha deciso di dimettersi. Il Comitato Esecutivo della LCTA, secondo gli statuti, ha eletto il nuovo Presidente: Matteo Somaini, General Manager Finance, DITH. La LCTA vorrebbe cogliere l’occasione per ringraziare il Presidente uscente e sottolineare l’eccezionale contributo da lui dato alla nostra associazione. Thomas Patrick ha sempre mostrato un grande impegno e investimento personale ed è stato fondamentale per i progressi che abbiamo fatto come associazione in dieci anni.

Il cambio di Presidente è stato comunicato ai soci della LCTA in occasione dell’Assemblea Generale Ordinaria che purtroppo quest’anno, a causa della pandemia di COVID-19, non ha potuto tenersi in presenza, ma è stata organizzata in forma scritta. Vorremmo così presentarvi il nuovo Presidente della LCTA con un’intervista.

Sig. Somaini, lei è coinvolto nella LCTA dall’inizio, 10 anni fa, cosa ci può dire dell’evoluzione dell’associazione negli anni?

Quando ci siamo incontrati per la prima volta più di dieci anni fa – la Camera di Commercio, una società di trading e una banca – eravamo sei persone consapevoli che il nostro ambiente fosse in rapida evoluzione, con l’obiettivo di creare valore nelle aree della formazione, del networking e della comunicazione con il pubblico. Dopo dieci anni, la LCTA conta 53 associati e facciamo parte della STSA – l’associazione nazionale con cui coordiniamo la maggior parte delle iniziative pubbliche riguardanti il ​​settore. La nostra associazione organizza formazione continua per le persone attive nel commercio di materie prime e abbiamo avviato da alcuni anni il corso post-laurea “CAS Commodity Professional”, in collaborazione con la Zug Commodity Association e la Hochschule Luzern. Organizziamo una conferenza annuale che attrae a Lugano persone da tutta Europa e partecipiamo ad eventi selezionati all’estero, puntando a creare nuove opportunità per i nostri soci e promuovendo Lugano come importante piazza per il commercio internazionale di materie prime.

È il risultato del duro lavoro del nostro segretario, del presidente uscente e del board, con la collaborazione di tutti i nostri associati. Dieci anni fa non era scontato, soprattutto vista la scarsa abitudine delle nostre aziende al confronto con il pubblico e a fare sistema.

Qual è secondo voi il più grande punto di forza di LCTA?

Direi che è il senso di comunità. In Ticino siamo circa 70 aziende ed impieghiamo oltre 2.000 persone. Con il tempo credo sia maturata nei soci la consapevolezza che non siamo solo individui che lavorano nello stesso settore, spesso si occupano di materie prime diverse, a volte competono sullo stesso mercato. Siamo una comunità, condividiamo lo stesso territorio (Lugano è la nostra base, il mercato globale è il nostro ambiente di lavoro), condividiamo interessi e valori. Penso che la consapevolezza di questo senso di comunità sia allo stesso tempo il principale punto di forza dell’associazione, nonché uno dei risultati più significativi della LCTA nel primo decennio di attività.

Cos’è particolarmente importante per lei come Presidente della LCTA?

Sicuramente considero in primo luogo che tutti i soci si sentano rappresentati nei valori dell’associazione, con l’obiettivo di preservare e far crescere la comunità che abbiamo “scoperto”. In parallelo, la LCTA dovrebbe continuare a concentrarsi per supportare i membri e le nuove aziende del settore, condividendo il know-how e creando valore attraverso la nostra rete.

Cosa non vedi l’ora di fare come Presidente dell’associazione?

Quando abbiamo iniziato a discutere l’idea dell’associazione, nel 2010, stavamo superando una delle più gravi recessioni economiche della storia, percepivamo che il mondo sarebbe stato diverso e avremmo dovuto adattare rapidamente il nostro modus operandi, per soddisfare nuove esigenze, soprattutto sotto la spinta del settore finanziario. È stato uno dei motivi che ci ha uniti. Oggi ci troviamo di fronte a qualcosa di simile, in una certa misura più estremo, probabilmente più rapido, che certamente influisce pesantemente sulle nostre vite quanto sui nostri modelli di business.

La Svizzera è il principale paese al mondo per il finanziamento del commercio di materie prime, primo paese per il trading di energia, metalli e materie prime agricole, e il Ticino è uno dei tre Commodity hub in Svizzera. Compagnie di navigazione con sede in Svizzera movimentano oltre il 20% delle merci spedite via mare. Abbiamo le migliori aziende che forniscono servizi, gestiscono logistica e rischi, a tutti i livelli della catena di fornitura di ogni categoria di merce.

Non vedo l’ora di collaborare con il nostro board, tutti i nostri membri e i nostri colleghi in Svizzera – e perché no in altre importanti piazze in tutto il mondo, come Londra, Singapore e Dubai – per raccogliere le nuove sfide. È un’opportunità di innovazione unica, non solo basata sulla tecnologia. Possiamo guidare la trasformazione attraverso un’innovazione responsabile e spostare l’industria verso un approccio basato sulla co-opetition, mirando a risultati di lungo periodo e sostenibili, per creare valore per tutti gli stakeholder.

1. What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

Founded in Lugano in 1952, the Cornèr Bank Group is an independent Swiss private bank group operating on the national market as a full-service bank. Lugano is Switzerland’s third-largest banking centre, after Zurich and Geneva. Active across the whole range of traditional banking services, the Cornèr Bank Group specialises in the Private Banking sector, as well as in the areas of lending, Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club payment cards (Cornèrcard) and online trading (CornèrTrader) – the core businesses on which the growth of the Cornèr Bank Group is based.

2011 brought a new acquisition to the Group: Zurich-based AG, a company engaged in the payment cards sector. 2012, on the contrary, was the year of the creation of CornèrTrader. This division offers private and institutional investors innovative multi-asset platforms for trading online. Through these platforms, investors can access the world’s financial markets and take advantage of personalised service and assistance from Account Executives specialised in this field.

Among the main innovations of 2015 was the direct issue of structured products on the Swiss market. This enabled the Cornèr Bank Group to join the Swiss Structured Products Association (SSPA), making it the Association’s first member bank from Ticino. Also in 2015, the acquisition of Diners Club Italia, in Milan, and the Slovenian Dinit d.o.o., the service company for the Diners Club  brand at the European level, extended the Group’s scope of action in the payment cards sector.

The decision to keep the Head Office and Executive Board in Lugano reflects the Bank’s strong link with the local economy. Over the years, Cornèr Bank has opened offices in other leading Swiss financial centres and launched a vital process of internationalisation. The specific aim is to diversify and extend the Bank’s own range of products and services to keep pace with the increasing market globalisation and a more cosmopolitan clientele.

As regard to equity, the Cornèr Bank Group currently boasts an impressive capital ratio, with around three times the minimum statutory requirement. In terms of capital soundness, Cornèr Bank has been on the podium in Switzerland according to the world financial statistics compiled in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 by “The Banker”. On June 2019, the bank has received a BBB+ from Fitch Ratings agency.

Cornèr Bank Group consists of the Lugano-based parent bank Cornèr Bank Ltd., the four Swiss branches in Chiasso, Geneva, Locarno and Zurich, the affiliated Cornèr Bank (Overseas) Limited, Ltd., Cornercard UK Ltd., Diners Club Italia S.r.l. and Dinit d.o.o.​Since 2015,

2. In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

Today with all difficulties, Trump’s policy, european duties and finally the Coronavirus, the market is under pressure.

Already last year the trend was not positive and at the moment we can say that the market has a bearish trend.

Maybe the second part of the year should be better, but making prediction is always a hard exercise.

3. How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

Again the world is becoming more tricky and it is not evident to anticipate the future, especially during the last months, as explain before.

Nevertheless I think a market which is always in movement, can offer good opportunities.

What is important to say that Cornèr Bank is not comparable as big banks or banks who used to work in Trade Finance activities. For us this is a niche sector.

4. For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Lugano is part of Switzerland, a country who has a political stability, in the centre of Europe, with his “swiss label” well known all over the world.

Switzerland is also the country of many companies who are active in trade finance and raw materials activities.

Lugano is one of the big place in Switzerland for the trading of raw materials with Geneva and Zug.

So I think being near of companies is extremely important.

5. Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

LCTA helps companies who want open a new reality in Ticino, gives the opportunities having a direct contact with the authority of the Canton.

LCTA offers to companies through his networking to know expert in many sectors like shipping, financing, and offers also high level trainings in different sectors.

Philippe Thürler, Trade Finance Specialist
Cornèr Banca SA // Cornèrcard // CornèrTrader

Foto © Fabrice Villard

Antonio Gerli
Commercial Director

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

Our company, together with subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and Turkey, trades raw materials for the metallurgical and steel industry. In particular, we deal with non-ferrous metals (aluminium, copper, nickel, tin, zinc, lead and minor metals) and noble ferroalloys (based on molybdenum, vanadium, titanium, niobium, tungsten and others). We mainly operate as principals, buying, storing and reselling to consumers; we also have territorial representation as agents and distributors on behalf of some foreign producers.

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

Our sector is perhaps the most globalised one, and therefore subject to the great influence of international geopolitical events. Phenomena such as the imposition of duties and tariffs, or events such as pandemics have an immediate (and often negative) impact on international trade and the economic growth prospects of nations. Over a longer period, however, there is no doubt that the increased urbanization of the world population and technological development are phenomena that support the use and trade of metals.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

Partially negative in the immediate term, precisely because of the limiting factors mentioned earlier; certainly improving in the long term. Precisely for this reason, for us traders, it is necessary to equip ourselves with more and more financial facilities able to sustain for prolonged periods of time a stagnant or even shrinking market, so as to be ready to seize the reversals of the trend and take advantage of the peaks of rise. All this requires long dedication to customer needs and loyalty based on quality of service and trust in confidentiality and responsiveness.

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Lugano is in a magnificent position from a geographical point of view: north enough to be in the heart of Europe, and also south enough to guarantee an incomparable meteorological quality. At the same time it is at 2-3 hours maximum by plane from the extreme west (Lisbon) and the extreme east (Moscow, Istanbul) of Europe. This puts it in direct contact with the whole EU and neighbouring countries. In addition, Lugano has the advantage of being in Switzerland, the nation in Europe most “friendly” to trading sector.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

The activity of LCTA allows members to have an excellent relationship with their peers in the Ticino economic environment and, by extension, in the Swiss one, as well as allowing a coordinated action to defend the interests of the category. Equally important is the educational and updating activity, addressed both to seniors with conferences and updates, and to juniors with preparatory courses for business activities.

Marco Arrighini, 
Head of Southern Region

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

Euler Hermes is the global leader in trade credit insurance (TCI) and trade-related insurance solutions such as sureties & guarantees, coverage against fraud & cybercrime and international debt collection. We help companies take control of tomorrow thanks to our unique knowledge of companies, industries and countries. In a nutshell we help our clients to choose the right customers and the right markets to avoid bad debt in the first place. Because the future is not always as expected, we predict trade and credit risk today, to protect cash flow tomorrow.

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

The trend is positive and TCI is getting more and more important and frequent especially for traders and industries active with customers based abroad. TCI is an essential tool for companies of all sizes. Access to trade financing is very often subject to the presentation to the banks of a trade credit insurance.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

There is a very interesting future ahead. Insurtech and Fintech will change completely the way how trade financing and trade credit insurance work. It will be fascinating.

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Switzerland?

We are based in more than 50 countries all over the World and Switzerland plays an important role across the DACH Region (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). In Switzerland we have office in Zurich, Lugano and Lausanne in order to be closer to all the customers based in the 3 main Swiss-Regions where important international industries are based.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity.

LCTA is not only a networking hub but it is also a centre of  competence.

Lucia Longhi
General Manager

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

The core activity of DSS INTERNATIONAL is contained in the name of the company. The abbreviation DSS stands for DneproSpetsStal, which is the Ukrainian producer of special steel for which we work as exclusive distributors for a major part of the world. The special steel we distribute is in bars (mainly round) and can be grouped in the following big families: Tools steel, Stainless steel, Engineering steel and PM steel (Powder Metallurgy steel). We export the 25% to Germany, 10% to Italy, 20% to other EU countries, 15% to North America and the balance to rest of the world.

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

A big share of our steel goes to the automobile industry, so our sector partially fluctuates together with the world use of cars and the purchase of new models. Another factor influencing our position is the price of nickel, which is the predominant cost element in the production of stainless steel. Overall, we presently see a stable trend in our sector after a major reduction last year. Even if we are moderately touched by the “Trump tariffs” on some grades of special steel, our volumes to North America have not decreased much, because almost all our customers have accepted to absorb the increase of price.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

We do not expect major changes this year, but overall the results should improve thanks to new investments in production as well as the strengthening of the sales/marketing teams.

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Good infrastructures, reasonable level of bureaucracy, banks providing trade finance services, pleasant location to work in and where to invite our frequent international visitors.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

We are very pleased to be part of this association, which defends our industries’ interest. It is also a platform to meet with people working in similar or related sectors. Important is also LCTA’s contribution in the professional education.

Piermichele Bernardo
Managing Partner

What is the core activity of your company? Does your company focus on particular geographic markets?

We are a swiss insurance broker with full access to global expertise and capacity regarding trade risks, marine, energy and supply chain insurance; generally we can provide worldwide solutions.

Please take a look at the video of our 30 years, with 4 testimonials, or visit

In your view, what is the actual trend of your sector?

The trend is in general very good and we obtained very interesting quotations and some important cover extensions; the result has been influenced from: cover required, market approached, risk management, claims experience and, as well the period of the year.

How do you judge the perspectives of your activity’s market?

Positive! The capacity of the market is good and the good relationship with the most important and flexible insurer and Underwriter help us to provide innovative and competitive solutions for our clients

For your company, what are the benefits of working in Lugano (Switzerland)?

Lugano is still recognised as a competitive financial place and for us is a window to the European market; we are happy to work close to our clients and we believe that is still an added value in these business model transformation years.

Your opinion in one sentence to describe LCTA’s activity

If LCTA wasn’t there, it would have to be invented! Great work!

Alberto Fogagnolo

1. Di che cosa si occupa la vostra azienda? Quali sono i vostri mercati principali?

Dal 1994 il gruppo DELTASTEEL opera su scala geografica globale nel trading di materiali ferrosi. Nei suoi 25 anni di attività, in proprio o rappresentando primari gruppi internazionali, ha intermediato materie prime, semiprodotti e prodotti finali dell’industria siderurgica, focalizzandosi nell’ultimo periodo sul reinserimento nel ciclo produttivo dell’acciaio di ghise cosiddette secondarie, agendo principalmente nel mercato dell’Europa dell’Ovest.

2. Dal vostro punto di vista, come valutate l’andamento del vostro settore?

Capacità industriale, produzione e consumo di acciaio sono costantemente in crescita ma globalizzazione, accesso al credito sempre più selettivo, totale trasparenza del mercato, misure protezionistiche e concentrazione del numero dei produttori e dei consumatori diventano fattori chiave che rendono sempre più complicato per i trader ritagliarsi un ruolo attivo nella catena produttiva e commerciale della siderurgia.

3. Come stimate le prospettive dei mercati relativi al vostro settore?

Le dinamiche settoriali descritte obbligano i trader ad assumere un ruolo prettamente finanziario o a rischiose prese di posizione commerciali. Esistono sempre di più “one man company” con limitato accesso al mercato ed i grandi gruppi internazionali, anche integrati a monte o a valle.

DELTASTEEL ha risposto alle nuove sfide rinunciando all’espansione a tutti i costi per privilegiare   rapporti di lunga durata con selezionati clienti e fornitori a cui garantire servizi che vengono riconosciuti e apprezzati come altamente professionali. Costante controllo della gestione e la dotazione di mezzi propri hanno consentito, pur mantenendo uno stretto rapporto con le istituzioni finanziarie, una discreta autonomia operativa adatta alle dimensioni.

4. Quali sono i benefici di lavorare a Lugano (Svizzera)?

La Svizzera è nota per l’ottima possibilità di fare impresa. DELTASTEEL è stata fondata a Lugano che ha sempre avuto un ruolo storico internazionalmente riconosciuto nel trading e nelle attività ad essa collegate. Nonostante questa centralità si sia ridimensionata, noi riteniamo che Città, Cantone e Confederazione  possano offrire ancora molto al nostro settore magari attraverso un piano creditizio specifico per le piccole/medie imprese e la finalizzazione della riforma fiscale.

5. La vostra opinione in una frase per descrivere l’attività della LCTA

LCTA deve essere amplificatore delle singole voci dei propri associati, delle loro realtà, delle loro istanze ed esigenze fungendo da “cinghia di trasmissione” con gli enti preposti al loro accoglimento.

Sempre gradite sono le occasioni di networking locale ed internazionale così come di aggiornamenti su problematiche e opportunità che riguardano le attività di trading.