Commodity traders source raw materials from producers, may perform a first transformation, transport those, may store them temporarily and finally deliver them to end-users. Unlike integrated majors, which own and manage, partially or fullly, upstream, transformation and marketing of transformed products, traders do not control the full delivery chain. Their revenue is the differential between price paid upstream and selling price downstream. To realize it, a large range of services are being provided. Diversifying resourcing pools and maintaining good relations with upstream producers or primary transformers are of utmost importance, for various reasons:

To secure a diversified and steady procurement flow, traders build tightly managed organizations. Sources are far and wide, operations complex and prone to surprises, risks important and finally profit margins relatively low. Several arrangements can be developed to stabilize sourcing flows.