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FT Commodities Americas Summit

Rio de Janeiro |  - 
Speakers include:
Fabio Schvartsman

Fabio Schvartsman

Vale SA

Luis Henrique  Guimarães

Luis Henrique Guimarães


Valmor Schaffer

Valmor Schaffer

COFCO International


From oil to agriculture and mining, the Americas is a global commodities powerhouse. Yet countries such as Brazil have yet to achieve their potential and fully leverage a rich endowment of natural resources. They are also having to navigate an increasing volatile geopolitical backdrop as well as big structural trends such as the energy transition and decarbonisation, which will shape commodity markets for decades to come.

The second FT Commodities Americas Summit will examine the challenges and opportunities facing commodity producing nations across region and the pivotal role they will play in supplying the world with raw materials.

fallback Add to my Calendar 10/15/2018 18:30:0010/16/2018 17:45:00trueFT Commodities Americas Summit From oil to agriculture and mining, the Americas is a global commodities powerhouse. Yet countries such as Brazil have yet to achieve their potential and fully leverage a rich endowment of natural resources. They are also having to navigate an increasing volatile geopolitical backdrop as well as big structural trends such as the energy transition and decarbonisation, which will shape commodity markets for decades to come.The second FT Commodities Americas Summit will examine the challenges and opportunities facing commodity producing nations across region and the pivotal role they will play in supplying the world with raw materials.FT-Commodities-Americas-Summit-9053392ad83577c6c2e04fb7c31efe5bMM/DD/YYYY

2017 Photos

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Commdodites AMerica photos


Keynote Speaker (1)

Fabio Schvartsman

Fabio Schvartsman

President & CEO
Vale SA

Fabio Schvartsman has an undergraduate degree in production engineering from the University of São Paulo Polytechnic School and an MBA from Fundação Getulio Vargas’ São Paulo School of Business Administration.

With over 40 years of experience successfully running operations at major groups, Mr Schvartsman stood out due to his excellent performance at the helm of Klabin S.A., one of Brazil’s largest producers and exporters of paper and pulp. As Klabin’s managing director from February 2011 to April 2017, he established a new management cycle focused on results and high performance. During this period, the company doubled its production capacity, entered new markets, tripled its market capitalisation, and posted improving financial results for 23 consecutive quarters. As well as being responsible for finalising the company’s professionalisation process, Schvartsman led the execution of the Puma Project, the largest project in Klabin’s history, involving total investment of R$8.5 billion, which started up in  March 2016.

From February 1976 to April 1985, Mr Schvartsman worked at Duratex, as head of its Economic Studies Sector, head of its Development Division, and head of its Planning Department. For 22 years, between May 1985 and April 2007, he held various positions at Ultra Group companies and took part in some major negotiations. From April 2007 to February 2008, he led Telemar Participações S.A. and from April 2008 to April 2010, he was the CEO of San Antonio Internacional. Furthermore, he was responsible for Ultrapar’s stock exchange flotation, and he worked as the company’s planning superintendent, planning director, planning and control director, investor relations director, and CFO/financial director-superintendent. While a partner and director of Ultra S.A., Ultrapar’s parent company, he was in charge of the process of acquiring the Ipiranga gas station chain. He also led Ultraprev. Schvartsman has also served on the boards of many companies, including Telemar Norte Leste S.A., Contax Participações S.A., Ultra S.A., San Antonio Internacional, Duratex S.A., Companhia Brasileira de Distribuição Pão de Açúcar, Gafisa S.A., and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.

Mr Schvartsman was appointed by Vale’s Board of Directors to the post of chief executive officer on April 2017.

Speakers (2)

Luis Henrique  Guimarães

Luis Henrique Guimarães


Luis Henrique Guimarães is CEO of Raízen since April 2016. Previously, he had been CEO of Companhia de Gás de São Paulo (Comgás) from April 2013 to December 2015. In April 2015, simultaneously, he became Chief Investor Relations Officer at Comgás and Director at Distribuidora de Gás Participações S/A, a company belonging to Cosan Group. He also has been Executive Sales vice-president of Raízen for two years, as a part of the transition group that created the company.

Graduated in Statistics, Mr Guimarães held a MBA in Marketing from Coppead – UFRJ, and has more than 20 years of professional experience, mostly at Shell, had held several positions in Brazil, United States and England.

Valmor Schaffer

Valmor Schaffer

MD Global Asset Management, MD Brazil
COFCO International

Valmor Schaffer leads the Global Asset Management organisation and is Managing Director of COFCO International in Brazil. Before joining COFCO International in 2015 as President of South America, he was President of South America and Country Manager Brazil at Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM). Mr Schaffer has over 30 years of experience in the grain and oilseeds industry. Before joining ADM, he held various management positions at companies including GSI, Grupo Rezende and Cocamar.

Mr Schaffer studied foreign trade at Unisinos University in Brazil and economics at Brazil’s Facultades Integradas do Triangulo. He also attended the CEO-led Executive Development Program at Harvard Business School.

Chair (1)

Neil Hume

Neil Hume

Commodities & Mining Editor
Financial Times

Neil Hume is the Commodities and Mining Editor of the Financial Times, a role he has held since September 2013. He covers the global trade of natural resources, such as iron ore, coal, copper and wheat as well as the political, social and economic aspects of the commodities industry and trading houses. Mr Hume joined the FT as senior stock markets correspondent in 2006. He also helped found FT Alphaville, the FT’s award-winning markets blog. He became editor of Alphaville in 2010 before being appointed the FT’s Australia correspondent in 2012. In addition to editing Alphaville, Mr Hume has written a weekly column for the FT and won best scoop article at the M&A International Media Awards in 2008 for his story on InBev’s takeover of Budweiser. Prior to joining the FT, he spent six years on The Guardian’s business desk. Mr Hume graduated from the University of Warwick with a degree in History and Politics.

FT Contributors (2)

Joseph Leahy

Joseph Leahy

Brazil Bureau Chief
Financial Times

Joseph Leahy is Brazil Bureau Chief for the Financial Times, based in São Paulo. Previously, he served as the FT’s Mumbai Correspondent, as well as Asia Companies Editor and Hong Kong Correspondent.  Before joining the FT in 2000, Mr Leahy was the Jakarta Bureau Chief for AFX and also worked for the South China Morning Post as a subeditor and then as Indonesia Correspondent.  

In 2009, he won the Journalist of the Year award, the most prestigious prize of the Society of Publishers in Asia, for excellence in his reporting of Indian business and politics. He also won the 2009 Indian Express award for Best Foreign Correspondent covering South Asia. While in Hong Kong in 2006, he jointly won the SOPA award for Excellence in Business Reporting for his coverage of Chinese Oil Company CNOOC’s bid for Unocal of the US. In 2011, he jointly won an honourable mention in SOPA’s multimedia category for a Facebook, video and print project on Mumbai’s migrants, “Living the Dream.”  

Mr Leahy is a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology where he received a BA in Journalism.

Andres Schipani

Andres Schipani

Brazil Correspondent
Financial Times

Andres Schipani is the Brazil Correspondent for the Financial Times. Before moving to São Paulo, he was Andes Correspondent, covering covering Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, and Venezuela, as well as parts of the Caribbean. He has also worked in Miami and New York. A native of Buenos Aires, he was educated in London, Cardiff, and Oxford. He was also a fellow in business, economics and financial journalism at Columbia University.

Agenda - 15th Oct

  • 6:30pm
    Welcome Reception


Agenda - 16th Oct

  • 9:00am
    Opening keynote address and conversation

    Fabio Schvartsman, CEO, Vale

    The head of the world’s biggest iron ore producer talks to Neil Hume, FT Commodities and Mining Editor, about the outlook for the steel-making commodity and his mission to make Vale a more predictable company that can deliver returns even in the most difficult market conditions

    Keynote - A Government View

    Grains and Oilseeds - Where do we go from here?

    After a tough couple of years, the outlook for grain and oilseeds is looking brighter, much to the relief of the industry. A drought has hit Argentina and damaged its soyabean crop, sending crush margins soaring, while a cold snap in the US has supported corn prices. But with Brazil tipped to deliver another monster crop this year and US stocks plentiful, it is not clear whether the recovery can be sustained. A panel of leading industry executives will debate this and other key topics in the grains and oilseeds market.


    Trade and logistics - Tackling Brazil’s transport bottlenecks

    Billions of dollars have been spent improving Brazil’s port infrastructure, ending the chronic delays that have plagued exporters of commodities for many years. But the country’s transport network still requires heavy investment to tackle rail and road bottlenecks that make it difficult to shift crops from where they are produced to ports and terminals where they are loaded on ships. What are the potential solutions to Brazil’s infrastructure issues and how can the public and private sector work together to solve them? Regulators, government, officials and industry executives and groups will discuss this important issue.

    Sugar and Ethanol - Brazil and beyond

    Ethanol was supposed to be the safety valve for the sugar industry, soaking up excess production. However, massive harvest in Thailand and India over the past few years, has meant that the ethanol sponge has not worked. As a result world sugar prices are languishing at their lowest levels in years, heaping further pressure on the industry. So far rock-bottom prices have failed to spur any meaningful production cutbacks and speculators are betting on further falls. Not everyone is so pessimistic. Some traders believe Indian production will fall next year and with Brazil’s centre-south region set for the lowest sugar output in nearly a decade, they say talk of another super sugar surplus is misplaced.  

    12.45 Lunch 

    Metals and mining - At a crossroads

    After emerging from the worst downturn in a generation, the mining industry finds itself at an interesting juncture. Project pipelines need to be replenished to meet expected demand growth but shareholders are wanting higher returns and more judicious allocation of capital. Balancing these demands will not be an easy task and could have a large impact on prices. The industry also faces other pressures. In Brazil, the Samarco dam disaster has led to greater scrutiny of the mining industry, not least from powerful state prosecutors, while in Chile a new government has pledged to speed up the approval processes for big projects.

    The global oil market - the outlook for investment

    With oil prices back above $70 a barrel, inventories shrinking and demand growth robust, the outlook for the industry looks brighter than it has for many years. But can it last and crucially it spur fresh investment in the Americas? Or will the industry continue to sink dollars into US shale industry? Brazil has overtaken Mexico and Venezuela to become the region’s oil biggest producer and a major source of non-Opec output. The country’s pre-salt fields are reckoned to be one of the largest oil discoveries of the past 50 years, and are now attracting interest from the world’s biggest oil producers who are racing to secure stakes.The majors are looking at Argentina and its massive shale reserves, and other countries like Mexico. However, there are challenges. Some analysts think Brazil’s oil output will be flat year-on-year because of accelerating decline rates and projects delays.

    The changing food landscape

    How does the world meet rising demand for protein while at the same time reducing its carbon footprint? Can technology provide the answer and what part might meat substitutes, insect and plant-based proteins play in helping square this circle. This topic, of course, is of particular relevance for Brazil where the agricultural industry needs to balance it desire to grow with careful management of the environment.  Achieving sustainable growth will require the correct government policies but also engagement with the private sector. A sustainable future is in everyone’s interest but can it be achieved?


    Financing commodities - The view from the Americas

    Trade finance is the lifeblood of the commodities trading industry. In this panel, senior bankers and industry executives will look at the key trends shaping the provision of finance. Special focus will be paid to the regional banks and institutions that are helping to support the industry. The discussion will also examine the part China, the world’s biggest consumer of commodities, could have in financing commodity projects in Brazil.

    The geopolitics of commodities

    The tit-for-tat trade war between the US and China threatens to have big repercussions for the agricultural market and particularly for Brazil and Argentina. If Beijing is forced to source more of its grains and oilseeds from the Americas because US imports are more expensive, will the region be able to respond? How will global trade flows change and what other markets are vulnerable to the growing wave of protectionism. These and other questions will be examined by leading economists and analysts.

    The industry plays Long or Short
    In this concluding session of the summit, our audience will be given a chance to vote on key industry trends by going “long” or “short”.

    Topics for discussion in this final debate led by the FT Commodities Team will include:

    • China-US trade war
    • Nafta
    • $70 oil
    • Soyabean crushing margins
    • Sugar
    • Brazil’s election

    17.45 Close & Reception

Why Attend

  • Interact with leaders of the commodities industry who have special focus and interest in the region.
  • Hear from an expert panel of speakers and FT journalists, bringing the most pressing issues to life through a range of panel discussions and keynote speeches.
  • Analyse the latest supply and demand trends in the full range of commodities; from agriculture to energy to metals

Who Attends

The FT Commodities Summit will be attended by: C-Suite, VP and Directors, Fund Managers, Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities (FICC), Market Risk Analysts, Commodity Traders, Heads of Commodity Procurement as well as many others from across the industry.



Ticket Type

Fee (US Dollars)

Standard Summit Ticket




Copacabana Palace Hotel
Rio de Janeiro


Tel: +55 21 2548-7070


Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Gain access to 150 Senior Executives from the Commodities Industry, who will be attending the event;
  • Brand alignment with the FT and its unrivalled credibility;
  • Demonstrate thought leadership around the current critical issues affecting the industry;
  • Benefit from sustained international visibility through our advertising and marketing campaigns

Peter Bamford

Commercial Manager, Energy, Climate & Commodities

T: +44 (0) 20 7873 4329



Presented by (1)

The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. In 2016 the FT passed a significant milestone in its digital transformation as digital and services revenues overtook print revenues for the first time. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of more than 910,000 and makes 60% of revenues from its journalism.

Host partner (1)

Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods. We leverage our global reach and extensive asset network to serve our customers around the world, delivering the right products to the right location, at the right time – safely, responsibly and reliably. Our activities span the entire value chain from farm to fork, across a broad range of business lines (platforms). Since 1851 our portfolio has grown to include Oilseeds, Grains, Rice, Freight, Finance, Coffee, Cotton, Sugar, Juice, Dairy, Fertilizers & Inputs and Metals. We help feed and clothe some 500 million people every year by originating, processing and transporting approximately 81 million tons of products. Structured as a matrix organization of 6 geographical regions and 12 platforms, Louis Dreyfus Company is active in over 100 countries and employs more than 21 000 people globally at peak season. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Associate sponsor (1)

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) is a diversified natural resources group with fully integrated mining, processing, energy, logistics and marketing operations.

 Present in 14 countries across four continents, the Luxembourg-headquartered company employs more than 80,000 people. The world’s largest high-carbon ferrochrome producer by chrome content, ERG supplies a full range of high-quality ferroalloys through TNC Kazchrome, and Kazakhstan Aluminium Smelter JSC produces premium aluminium that is trademarked on the London Commodity Exchange. In Kazakhstan, ERG is the only aluminium producer and its exports account for approximately 90 percent of total output.

ERG is also a major cobalt and copper manufacturer and is very enthusiastic about driving the growth of alternative energy. The Group is a founding member of the Global Battery Alliance, a World Economic Forum’s Initiative that aims to create a responsible supply chain for batteries that power electric vehicles, solar panels and smartphones.

Through its Metalkol Project RTR in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from late 2018, ERG will start producing 14 kilotons per year of child-labor-free cobalt, which is sufficient to power up to 1.5 million high-end electric vehicles.

Supporting Partners (5)

Founded in 1987, Aboissa is today one of the largest and most respected commodity brokers in Latin America.

With vast knowledge of the world production chain, we have a broad vision of business opportunities for each client. We have specialized brokers focused on each family of products. From planning to after sales, we maintain a commitment to excellence, developing lasting business relationships.

Abraceel is an association that defends free market competition as an instrument to promote efficiency and security of supply in the areas of electricity, ethanol and natural gas, as well as stimulating the growth of carbon credits negotiations.The association acts with society in general, opinion makers, government agencies, other organizations in the areas of electric energy, ethanol, natural gas and credits and economic agents in general, in order to:
  • to promote the discussion of freedom as a fundamental value and of competition as a means of promoting innovation and efficiency;
  • discuss and disseminate national and international best practices and experiences in the regulation and development of energy markets;
  • discuss and disseminate best practices in energy trading;
  • to defend the improvement of the legal and regulatory framework so that free marketing can increasingly promote market efficiency for the benefit of society;
  • to defend the expansion and consolidation of the free electricity market, as well as the structuring of the natural gas market and the consolidation of the markets for ethanol and carbon credits;
  • and keep its members informed about the evolution of the legal and institutional environment, seeking to identify possible threats and opportunities.

The São Paulo Agency for Agribusiness Technology (APTA), of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Supply, has the mission of coordinating and managing the science and technology activities focused on agribusiness. Its structure includes the Agronomic Institute (IAC), Biological Institute (IB), Institute of Agricultural Economics (IEA), Institute of Fisheries (IP), Institute of Food Technology (ITAL) and Institute of Animal Science (IZ) Regional Poles strategically distributed in the State of São Paulo and the Department of Strategic Management (DGE).

The APTA research units meet the technological demands of the various agribusiness production chains, using their potential for generating and transferring knowledge in a sustainable development vision, focusing on innovation with social and environmental responsibility. For this, it is backed by the professional training of its researchers and technicians.

Through its activities of research and production of goods and services, APTA contributes to regional development, scientific and technological innovation and strengthening of the economy based on agribusiness.

ORPLANA - Sugar Cane Growers Organization of the Center-South Region of Brazil - was founded on June 29, 1976, with the objective of organizing the class of producers and increasing their representation in Brazil and abroad. Our Mission is to guarantee a safe and profitable future for sugarcane producers seeking excellence in agricultural production and coordination of the sugarcane chain. With headquarters in Ribeirão Preto / SP, it currently has 32 associations of sugarcane suppliers, of which 24 are in the state of São Paulo, 1 in Mato Grosso, 1 in Mato Grosso do Sul, 3 in Minas Gerais and 3 in Goiás. ORPLANA represents approximately 11 thousand suppliers of sugarcane in the entire Central-South Region of Brazil.

ORPLANA seeks to offer its members:

Technical Excellence: Creation of an opportunity to disseminate knowledge and develop solutions for the sector, especially in the area of ​​new technologies;

Legal advice: Preventive survey of legal uncertainty points, approximation to bodies related to labor issues and environmental issues;

Relationship: Representatives of producers for the sustainable development of the integrated chain of sugarcane;

Development of People: Dissemination of knowledge among the member Associations, strengthening the support base for the producer;

Political / Public Relations: Dialogue with public and private organizations and society, nationally and internationally;

Institutional marketing of the sector: Development of communication plans for support and institutional promotion of member associations of the sugar-energy sector.

 In addition to our values, we aim to support, strengthen and maintain the competitive advantages of the independent producer of sugarcane, maximizing its efficiency and profitability. To be a facilitator in the development of technical and strategic knowledge for the sugar-energy chain, helping in the effective decision making. Develop a favorable external environment for sugarcane producers through institutional marketing of the sector and the defense of their rights. Contribute to the maintenance of the competitiveness of the sugar-energy sector in the long-term. Raise the efficiency levels of the ORPLANA members of sugarcane producers while maintaining the unity of the class.

The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) represents the top producers of sugar and ethanol in the country’s South-Central region, especially in the state of São Paulo, which accounts for about 60% of the country’s sugarcane harvest and more than half of total ethanol production. UNICA develops position papers, statistics and specific research in support of Brazil’s sugar, ethanol and bioelectricity sectors. In the 2017/2018 harvest season, Brazil produced an estimated 596 million metric tons of sugarcane, which yielded 36 million tons of sugar and 26 billion liters of ethanol, making it the number-one sugarcane grower and sugar producer in the world as well as the second-largest ethanol producer on the planet.

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