Supply Chain Challenges: BIOMASS

Supply Chain Challenges: BIOMASS

Supply Chain Challenges: BIOMASS

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Over the last decade, biomass of various kinds has become an increasingly commonly used fuel for electricity generation, particularly in the European Union, which mandated ambitious threshold targets for the share of renewables in total electricity generation.

Wood chips and pellets have taken a large share of biomass production, not just in Europe, but also parts of Asia as well. In fact, according to the US International Trade Commission, production of wood pellets in the US for export to these locations increased 400% between 2008 and 2014 to help meet the increased demand. The US International Trade Commission further states that, “estimates of global wood pellet consumption vary, but are currently in the range of 22 – 25 million metric tons (Mt) annually. This projected to rise to between 50 and 80 million Mt by 2020. At 19 million Mt in 2013, the EU accounted for 85 percent of global consumption of wood pellets.”

This white paper examines some of the challenges around managing and optimizing biomass supply chains and discusses Generation 10’s Commodity Manager as a comprehensive software solution to these challenges.

Latest Publications

Commodity Markets – A Headhunter’s View

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ComTechAdvisory: Given all of the turmoil in commodity markets this last year or so, how has the job market been impacted?

James Richmond: The markets have been slow in the past year in the prime locations (London and Geneva in particular). There has been a lot of divestment in the oil majors and energy utilities as well as in the more asset based areas of the multi-commodity traders. I have noticed a lot of growth in the outsourcing market. Whilst the UK and Switzerland has been quieter than usual, most firms tend to hire more globally dispersed teams, which comes with the added benefit of cost savings / staffing arbitrage. In the last 6 months, we have been involved in staffing projects into the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Estonia, Stamford, Singapore and the Czech Republic. Two years ago, it was mostly Switzerland and the UK.

Improving Data Aggregation and Analysis to Address Challenges of an Evolving Energy Market

Improving Data Aggregation and Analysis to Address Challenges of an Evolving Energy Market

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The North American energy markets, influenced by both domestic and international developments, are undergoing a rapid evolution that has and continues to challenge energy commodity producers, processors, and traders. Driven by technical innovation, regulatory intervention and globalization, the changes occurring have impacted the entirety of the energy supply chain - establishing new pricing correlations, increasing operational complexities and creating new markets and trading hubs…and, by extension, created vast new pools of data and information that must be considered when formulating market strategies and trading decisions.

Despite these challenges, for those properly equipped with the tools and applications that can capture, analyze and support real-time decision making, there are any number of new opportunities to profit in this complex environment.

In this white paper we will examine the ongoing changes and the resultant challenges in a few of the most rapidly evolving North American energy markets, and discuss an approach to address those challenges through sophisticated real-time data aggregation and analytics.

2016 – 2021 CTRM Market Outlook

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Commodity Technology Advisory LLC (ComTech), the leading analyst firm covering commodity trading and risk management (CTRM) technology markets, has recently completed its biannual in-depth review of the CTRM software market space in order to compile an estimate of the size of the global CTRM technology market and prepare an outlook for growth across the various component submarkets that comprise it.

Readers of this report should be aware that in the development of this data, as in past years, we must delineate boundaries for the companies and applications reflected in the scope of the analysis.

Purchase the full version 2016 – 2021 CTRM Market Outlook

Risk Monitoring & Management Trends in Commodities

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Commodity producers, traders, and industrial consumers are all facing a barrage of risks such as price exposure and cyber vulnerability, as well as legal, credit, operational and market risks. The risks associated with buying, selling, and moving commodities only seem to be increasing exponentially with greater regulatory oversight and a broadening of supply chain operational issues like traceability. Many of these risks can be business killers – the actions of rogue traders or the impact of counterparty business failures, for example – and lead to fatal damage such as an inability to access capital or damage to brands (via issues around sourcing commodities or producing substandard end-products). Other risks, such as ineffective price risk management, inefficient scheduling of transportation, or regulatory non-compliance can erode profitability and damage the company’s ability to execute on strategic plans and growth initiatives.

Of course, often where there is risk, there is also an opportunity to profit - but only when those risks are recognized, effectively managed, and properly mitigated. The rise in stakeholder scrutiny and regulatory oversight also means that being able to demonstrate effective risk management across the organization is certainly more important today than ever before.

Commodity Technology Advisory LLC (ComTech), with the support of study sponsor Allegro Development Corp., undertook a snapshot survey of the industry to find out more about the types of risks faced by trading companies and to gain an indication of how and where those risks were being managed.