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Trade Talks: Spotlight on Soy

June 19, 2024

In this edition of Trade Talks, we’re exploring the dynamic and evolving world of soy trading with Lisa, our Meal Marketing Manager based in Shanghai, who shared her insights into life and success as a soy trader.

Lisa, Meal Marketing Manager, China

Q
Lisa, how did you venture into the world of trading?

A

I was drawn to trading for its relentless pace and the continuous challenge it presents, requiring a keen analysis of data and trends, which really appeals to my analytical nature. Plus the team spirit at LDC is incredibly motivating – it’s a place where sharing knowledge and discussing market impacts is part of our daily routine.


Q
Describe a typical day for you. How important are partnerships and relationships in your work?

A

Every day is unique, but it starts with prioritizing tasks and connecting with my team. Despite being spread across China, we sync every morning to exchange updates on the soybean meal market, sales and operational challenges. Collaboration extends beyond my team: I work closely with colleagues in other departments to align strategies and ensure smooth execution. And of course, keeping in touch with clients is also a key part of my day, ensuring their needs are always at the forefront.

At LDC, customer-centricity is a core part of our strategy. Understanding and meeting our customers’ needs isn’t just part of my job: it’s the foundation of everything we do, and relies on building strong relationships with customer to stay on top of evolving needs, differentiating ourselves, our products and services, and innovating continually to align with new developments and market trends.


Q
What factors influence your trading decisions?

A

So many different things! The Group’s strategy, market conditions (such as liquidity and volatility), economic indicators and major events, technical analyses and risk tolerance, among others. Of course, weather is also a crucial factor: Chinese people often say that the agricultural industry relies on the weather for its sustenance.

Overall, having a wide and comprehensive knowledge base has always been my goal, as the market is constantly entering new and unknown territories. The wider your knowledge base, the better your odds of making the correct decision.


Q
How has your role evolved over time?

A

The realm of trading has seen significant changes, particularly with the advent of algorithmic trading, which has added complexity but also efficiency, accuracy and speed in trading, requiring a deeper understanding of technology and market analyses.

Sustainability is also increasingly a cornerstone of our business model, to meet growing demand for traceability and sustainable production: from when crops leave the farm to when they reach retailers as finished products.

We at LDC committed to advancing sustainable soy supply chains in collaboration with our partners. For example, we’re helping aquaculture enterprises in China trace the plant-based raw materials they use for fish feed back to the farms they came from, responding to quality, safety and sustainability demands from customers.


Q
Can you share a standout memory from your career?

A

Absolutely! It was March 2020, in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, with immense logistics challenges as customers had run out of soybean meal stock – especially along the Yangtze River.

The very first barge of soybean meal to the city of Wuhan during the lockdown was sent by our Zhangjiagang plant, after unprecedented efforts by Oilseeds and other team members. That was a really proud and memorable moment, and a huge achievement for the team.


Q
What advice would you give to someone interested in trading?

A

You have to have self-discipline, be ready to work hard and maintain a curiosity that keeps you up to date with the latest news and trends. If that sounds like you, my advice would simply be… go for it!

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