A new commodities trading house, Marzuk Agri, has opened in Singapore and will focus on feeds, grains, pulses, rice and sugar.

Marzuk will source its products chiefly from East Africa, South America and the Black Sea region but will also look to Thailand for its white sugar trade.

These it will ship into Southeast Asia, managing partner Sedat Andic explains to GTR.

Southeast Asia is expected to show strong demand for pulses in the future and Andic believes that India, in particular, will be a significant market opportunity.

Elsewhere in Asia, China remains a good trading opportunity but contractual problems can hamper trade.

Singapore is increasingly being selected as a hub for trading and financing activities and Andic highlights the quality of the city’s infrastructure, which helps make it an excellent base for commodity-specific trading.

Singapore’s port is one of the busiest in the world, processing and handling 5% of the world’s shipping containers in 2012.

The city-state also looks to incentivise traders by offering a tax rate of between 5% and 10% for traders compared to up to 24% in London and 40% in Houston.

The impact of these policies can be seen in official statistics, which show that trade rose, in nominal terms, from Singapore dollar (S$) 516bn in 2003 to S$985bn in 2012.