Commodities trading company Trafigura has signed a M$500mn (US$158mn) three-year offtake agreement with Malaysia Steel Works (Masteel) in a move to increase its activities in the Asia Pacific region.

Trafigura will use the loan to purchase products of steel billets and steel bars from Masteel over a period of three years.

Masteel managing director and CEO Dato’ Sri Tai Hean Leng says: “This deal is indeed timely for the group as we are continually expanding our upstream and downstream steel production capacity. This expansion would allow us to comfortably meet the demands of Trafigura’s clients in the Asia Pacific region.”

Dominic Watters, managing director of Trafigura, adds: “Trafigura has a strong foundation in the trading of bulk and non-ferrous minerals. In recent years, we have witnessed a major shift in our customer base, one which is moving eastwards from the European and American markets. Trafigura has identified Malaysia as a key country for our growth in Asia.”

Trafigura, the world’s second largest independent trader of bulk and non-ferrous minerals, established its regional hub in Singapore last year.

So far, the company has invested significantly in Malaysia, including in oil terminals and metal warehouses in Pasir Gudang, Johor and a metals warehouse in Port Klang, Selangor.