One very important requirement in commodity trading is, of course, market data. Last week, I was introduced to a market data provider on the Ags side of things called AgFlow. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, AgFlow got started in 2013 taking in new investment last year in order to redevelop a newer digital platform. I talked with James Matthews, Head of Growth and learned that AgFlow is in grains, oilseeds and vegetable oils and other agricultural commodities specifically aggregating private data and providing it to clients as a data source for active market participants. “We started by focusing on cash prices but have procured many private data sources now. All of our sources are transparent and include over 100 brokers, for example. Through time we have added other data like import-export flows, freight indications, and cash forward curves, and so on,” he told me.
AgFlow has also moved into the risk space this year offering an AI-based solution around its fundamental pricing data comprising over 150,000 different prices per month. The algorithm is the main input to a complete forward curve to use a proxy for VaR and MTM calculations that extend 12-months out. “We have seen a big need and good use case for this type of information and product in the market,” James told me. “We have seen people asking traders and brokers or using futures markets as a proxy.”
“Our API access enables you to source selected data in a fast and secure manner,” he told me. “You can plug cash price or vessel lineups data directly in your systems without any human interference and pay only for the data you need and be free to customize them as you want.” He said. It offers a number of solutions including PriceDiscovery, TradeFlows, Risk Management API and TrendDiscovery API offering access to AgFlow’s extensive data base. According to user Cafetra in Rotterdam quoted on AgFlows’ website, “There simply is no alternative out there, it’s either you collect all the data from different sources, or you get AgFlow. AgFlow is the most complete spot and forward cash price data provider we could find,” which I think sums up the value proposition pretty well.
James told me that they are also building some partnerships with CTRM and related vendors in the space as they attempt to find ways to reach a broader market. One or two of these will be announced shortly I understand. A partnership with ZE Powergroup was announced in September 2020. We will cover those announcements as they appear.