Blockchain-enabled physical trading platform, Fertilizer Exchange announces partnership with Argus Media

Fertilizer Exchange, the world’s first blockchain-enabled physical fertilizer trading platform today announced its partnership with leading independent provider of commodity price benchmarks, Argus. The partnership enables buyers and sellers to access selected Argus pricing data and news on Fertilizer Exchange to make better and more confident trading decisions which they could directly act on− all in one platform utilising robust security standards from blockchain technology.

Fertilizer markets remain highly volatile, making it challenging to establish the right market prices. The lead time to assess bids or offers sometimes results in missed opportunities. Fertilizer Exchange enables buyers and sellers to access selected news headlines and price assessments by Argus to stay on top of shifts in the market, more easily evaluate trade requests, and make informed decisions when countering prices in its integrated digital trading platform.

Argus will provide Fertilizer Exchange with eight prices for urea and phosphates which are the average of the previous week’s daily prices.

Phil Sunderland, General Manager of Fertilizer Exchange, said: “We are excited to partner with Argus Media to add industry-leading commodity market intelligence to the Fertilizer Exchange platform. With the partnership, we further empower fertilizer buyers and sellers to accurately assess and act on new business opportunities, confidently conduct negotiations, and execute on trades seamlessly in a secure and robust digital trading platform.”

Adrian Binks, Chairman and Chief Executive of Argus Media said: “We were pleased to work with Fertilizer Exchange to provide representative prices and underlying news for urea and phosphates. These new averages will bring transparency to these opaque markets and enable traders to have confidence that they have a clear understanding of the underlying value of the physical commodity”.

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July 21, 2021
Fujitsu and Digital Commodity Exchange enter strategic agreement to accelerate digital transformation in global commodities trading

Fujitsu Limited and Digital Commodity Exchange Pte. Ltd. (DCX) today announced that they have entered a global strategic agreement to accelerate the digital transformation (DX) of the global commodity (1) trading industry, including the trade of agricultural products such as grains and raw materials for manufactured goods. In addition, Fujitsu will make a strategic investment in DCX on July 13, 2021 through a fund managed by its subsidiary Fujitsu Ventures Limited.

DCX is a holding company of Rice Exchange (2) and was established in Singapore in 2020 as a start-up company that leverages digital technologies to solve business challenges surrounding global commodity trading, including complex and inefficient exchanges and how to best ensure reliability and transparency. Since August 2019, Fujitsu and Rice Exchange have been working together to solve frictions related to global transactions with the world's first digital global rice trading platform, which successfully deployed blockchain technology to realize efficiency with a high degree of reliability and transparency. Fujitsu and DCX are additionally endeavouring to transform the trade of fertilizer.

Based on this agreement, the two companies will promote joint projects by combining DCX’s expertise in global transactions including customer verification (Know Your Customer) (3), contracts and trading operations, with the business knowledge and system design expertise accumulated by Fujitsu in the industrial and distribution fields. Ultimately, Fujitsu and DCX aim to deliver new innovations in trading operations by developing global trading platforms for the agricultural, food, manufacturing, and international trading businesses. Fujitsu will continue to offer its robust support for DCX, serving not only as a technology partner that builds platforms, but also as a business partner, working to provide services that contribute to SDGs through the power of digital technology.

Comments from Ichiro Aoyagi, SVP, Head of DX Platform Business Unit, Fujitsu Limited

We are excited to bring DCX and Fujitsu closer together to address the growing data driven business. DCX’s power to innovate commodity trading combined with Fujitsu’s advanced technologies such as blockchain will allow us to accelerate our digital transformation business for our customers, industry, and society. We look forward to an even stronger collaboration with DCX and together building trust in data to overcome today’s uncertainties for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

Comments from Stephen Edkins, CEO of DCX

We are excited to have agreed this alliance with Fujitsu. The rice and fertilizer marketplaces that we have developed with Fujitsu as our technology and business partner are operational and have attracted some of the biggest names in the trade. DCX group companies are changing the way commodities are traded by adding trust and efficiency. Purchasing managers that use DCX platforms can assess the environmental and social impact of their supply chain decisions using the verifiable data that our platforms offer. We are now evaluating the potential to deploy this technology into other verticals.

Comments from Hideaki Yajima, President & CEO, Fujitsu Ventures Limited

Fujitsu Ventures Limited is honored to invest in DCX, which will mark the first direct investment from its corporate venture capital (CVC) fund totalling 10 billion yen, which we established on April 1, 2021. We will support DCX with an eye toward further business development with Fujitsu and will continue investments in start-up companies to accelerate execution of Fujitsu's corporate strategy.

[1] Commodity:
Grains such as sugar, rice and wheat, precious metals and non-ferrous metals, regardless of the producer, are treated as equivalent or almost equivalent in commodity value. Most are raw materials, core resources, agricultural products, mining products, and industrial products.

[2] Rice Exchange:
Rice Exchange is the world's first digital platform enabling rice buyers and sellers and third parties to trade rice in an efficient, cost effective and secure way. The blockchain enabled platform is designed to allow participants to interact and settle trade through a permissioned, smart contract solution that integrates buyers, sellers and service providers. It increases trust, reduces risk and delivers cost savings to the rice industry, benefiting all participants.

[3] Customer verification (Know Your Customer):
A complex process in which banks and securities companies verify the identity of their business partners before initiating transactions as an anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing, security trade control, or other risk measure. In recent years, not only financial institutions but also general companies have introduced the system as part of credit management checks, etc.

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About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 126,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 3.6 trillion yen (US$34 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021. For more information, please see www.fujitsu.com.

About Digital Commodity Exchange Pte. Ltd.

DCX is the group holding company for a range of commodity trading platforms. It provides integrated and secure blockchain online ecosystems to trade and deliver physical commodities globally, starting with rice and fertilizers, with more markets in development.

About Fujitsu Ventures

Fujitsu Ventures is a 100% subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, and was established on March 1, 2021 as part of Fujitsu group's growth investments for the purpose of managing CVC funds that invest in start-ups and other businesses.
URL: https://www.fujitsu.com/jp/group/fjv/en/

Press Contacts

Public and Investor Relations Division
Inquiries
Company: Fujitsu Limited

All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.


Date: 13 July, 2021
City: Tokyo, Singapore
Company: Fujitsu Limited, Digital Commodity Exchange Pte. Ltd., Fujitsu Ventures Limited


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July 13, 2021
A New Way of Buying Rice

Buyers of rice face many problems. They don’t know if they are getting the best price, they worry that they can’t trust new suppliers and they face numerous financial and non-financial risks, especially during the transportation part of the trade. Rice Exchange has been designed specifically to make the rice buying process better. Here we talk with the COO and co-founder of Rice Exchange, Frank Gouverne, to see how Rice Exchange makes life easier for rice buyers around the world.

Q: One of the most important considerations for rice buyers is price. Buyers presumably want to pay the best price for the rice they buy. How does Rice Exchange allow them to do this?

A: Through our platform buyers of rice benefit from extensive price discovery. Currently, all prices are negotiated bilaterally between seller and buyers and this is not representative of the whole market. On the Rice Exchange platform buyers can see prices from other sellers and from many origins, in one place and in real time. When buyers see a good offer from one or more sources, they can negotiate the price and conditions with a few clicks. Buyers can also post enquiries and obtain the best offers from the main exporting countries. This is a huge advantage.

Q: How do buyers know if they can trust new suppliers, who might be offering more competitive prices, if they have not done business with them before?

A: Firstly, we provide direct connectivity between buyers and sellers so they can build their relationship quickly and securely over our platform. Once both parties have established themselves on the platform, it will be easy for them to see each other’s trading history, if both parties agree to share this information, that should give extra reassurance. In the future we will implement a rating system for both buyers and sellers that will add a further layer of trust.

Q: How does Rice Exchange help buyers with their own operations?

A: A typical rice trade generates a multitude of documents. All trades on the Rice Exchange platform are digital. This means that the risk of documents being tampered with, manipulated or lost is drastically reduced. This saves buyers time spent in their own back offices. The electronic documents that our platform produces give the buyers’ banks visibility and trust, enabling these institutions to release more finance.

Q: Once terms have been agreed and the paperwork is in place, buyers often face an anxious wait during the execution of the trade. How does Rice Exchange lower the anxiety levels and give buyers a better view of what happens to their rice cargo?

A: We have several ways of doing this. The platform gives users daily cargo operations reports as opposed to the existing system of waiting for the inspection reports that arrive when the shipment is seaborne. This daily reporting gives real time visibility on cargo operation activities and allows buyers to react should something be wrong. All parties to the trade have the same information: the buyer, the seller and the inspection company.

The inspection companies that work with Rice Exchange have agreed to provide buyers with daily reports although their services are paid for by sellers.

Unfortunately, it is common for buyers to be kept in the dark regarding the shipment of their rice cargo. The Rice Exchange platform not only brings transparency to shipment preparation but on many other aspects of the trade with the objective of creating an ecosystem of parties who aren’t afraid of transparency and want to work in a trusted environment with reliable partners.

Improved transparency helps buyers access the dedicated Rice Exchange insurance policy, provided by first class European underwriters via our integrated insurance brokers Siaci Saint Honoré.

Q: What about shipping? How does Rice Exchange help buyers that are buying small to middle sized lots?

A: The platform offers two possible shipping methods - containers and break-bulk shipment on a parcel service - both of which can be booked on the platform with our integrated shipping providers. Container services are well known and offer multiple advantages. Buyers that book their freight via the platform receive updates detailing when their cargo is picked up, when the rice is loaded on the vessel and when it reaches the destination. Buyers who purchase bigger lots may want to ship the cargo by vessel, but the volume may not be large enough to fill a big vessel or the buyer may lack the expertise to do so. To help those buyers, we have teamed up with Ducat Maritime, a leading parcel shipping service that focuses on the important rice route between Asia and West Africa. Ducat is one of the few shipping companies to offer a parcel service for small or medium-sized bagged loads between 1,000 and 3,000 tonnes. It does this by bundling smaller cargoes that can be collected from and delivered to multiple locations. This service democratises the global rice market as it allows smaller buyers to benefit from the same level of service as the largest buyers in the market.

Q: How does Rice Exchange help buyers reduce the risk of financial loss for damages caused during transportation?

A: The risk of damage during transportation and the financial exposure related to that can have a serious impact on buyers’ cash flow. Many buyers do not have insurance in place or cannot access good cover as their volumes are too small. As a result buyers often purchase rice on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) basis but they have no idea of the policy terms nor do they have a guarantee that an eventual claim will be paid. Rice Exchange has partnered with Siaci Saint Honoré to provide platform users with a dedicated marine insurance policy from a Swiss underwriter. Initially the insurance cover is only available for container shipments but we hope to extend this to conventional shipments too. The insurance cover is linked to the implementation of loss prevention measures including the use of kraft paper and dry bags for container shipments. These measures are expected to reduce insurance claims considerably benefiting buyers who will enjoy competitive premiums.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges faced by rice buyers. Logistical obstacles are mounting as offices are closed and freedom of movement is restricted. The Rice Exchange platform enables buyers to access the best offers from Asia and South America from the comfort of their home or office. We look forward to helping all buyers build new supplier relationships, achieve price transparency and benefit from improved services and logistics.



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June 19, 2020