Commodity Trading

CAS Commodity Trading 2024

This CAS is a short version of the DAS in Commodity Trading. It was created to answer the growing international demand for online courses. In-person attendance is mandatory for the first two modules to allow participants to interact with their peers.



August 2024 - June 2025
18 ECTS credits
48 Teaching hours
96 Distance teaching hours
The programme is delivered in class for the first 2 modules and online for the 6 others




Blended learning


+41 (0)22 379 81 12
+41 (0)22 379 82 71


University of Geneva


Registration deadline

30 June 2024
Modules can be followed individually


  • Application fee: CHF 250.- (non-refundable)
  • CAS tuition: CHF 8'500.-
  • Individual module: CHF 900.- per 1.5-credit module; CHF 1'800.- per 3-credits module (Conditions Apply)

Contribution to the SDGs

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all


  • Gain a solid understanding of commodities markets and trading transactions
  • Explore trading technology trends and innovation
  • Master all aspects of risk management in trading
  • Analyze the financing of trading activities
  • Look into sustainability challenges & legal aspects


Professionals wishing to develop and acquire new skills in the filed of commodities trading, or looking for a career change


8 modules:

  • Trading Transactions (24 hours onsite)
  • Risk Management (24 hours onsite)
  • Organization, Sustainability & Responsibility (12 hours online)
  • Shipping & Operations (12 hours online)
  • Trade Finance Banking Instruments (12 hours online)
  • Information Systems & Innovation (12 hours online)
  • Commodity Financing & Treasury (24 hours online)
  • Commodity Trading Simulation (24 hours online)


Prof. Jean-Paul VULLIÉTY, Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM), University of Geneva


Sun VITTET and Mayween HENCHOZ, University of Geneva


SUISSENÉGOCE (formerly the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association, STSA)
The Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) has been created in collaboration with SUISSENÉGOCE (formerly Swiss Trading and Shipping Association - STSA).
Since September 2022, participants can choose a shorter version of the program with the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Commodity Trading, which is offered mainly online. This new program has been set up to answer the growing demand for online courses from our international audience.


John Keane


Course Overview

Manage the entire process to generate a deal with a sound understanding of all costs involved and risks to be covered.

Course Objectives and Takeaways

The course provides the key elements to have a deeper understanding of oil market and related transactions. More specifically, the focus will be set on the following topics:

  •  Know the origin of oil and its derivatives
  •  Understand oil market and characteristics
  •  Assimilate buyer and seller obligations against INCOTERMS 2010
  •  Locate products against requirement
  •  Negotiate contract terms
  •  Elaborate deal budgets


Xavier Trabia


Course Overview

The objective of this module is to familiarise students with trading risk issues and their management/monitoring. The module will consist of identifying, quantifying and managing risks, directly or indirectly related to price risks. At the end of this section, the participants will have developed their capacity to understand the traders’ approach towards risks and opportunities in the commodity trading industry (with a focus on pricing risks) and understand the elements of risk management techniques in commodity trading.

Course Objectives and Takeaways

  • Define and identify risks
  • Master hedging techniques
  • Understand notions such as Position capture and Mark-to-Market within a commodity trading structure
  • Be familiar with option contracts and strategies
  • Use and understand the different VaR models: parametric, historical and Monte-Carlo simulations


Paula Freire


Course Overview

The commodity trading industry is facing a significant transformation driven by a surge of volatility in commodity prices, intensification of regulations and compliance requirements, proliferation of complex products and transactional models, reduction of margins and a willingness to act in larger parts of the supply chain. These external challenges have re-shaped the strategy and the vision of many of the corporations operating today in the commodities industry.  

In this context, the role of information technologies has become of extreme relevance in underpinning both the design of these strategies and their implementation; either contributing to the reduction of costs and operational risks through common data and information architectures, straight through processing and real time reporting or by supporting new revenue generation business models through continuous innovation.

This course explores information technologies from the perspective of a commodities trading corporation. It will provide a number of exemplars of the application of information technologies and the latest innovations in the commodities industry. Moreover, it will analyze the importance of IT and business alignment to achieve above mentioned objectives and how to enable, in practical terms, a strategy focused information technology organization.

Information will be presented in the form of use cases, academic research, articles and whitepapers published by respected scholars and experts in the field, and the actual disclosures of major multi-national companies in the industry, including service providers, consultancy companies, software houses...


Pierre Thézé


Course Overview

Understanding the mechanism of the main banking instruments used for obtaining financing from financial institutions in order to secure payment and performance in trading of commodities on the international market.

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding UCP600 and their usage
  • Ability to choose the best payment instrument  for a trader


Pierre-Edouard Dolhen


The practice of commodities trading is the process wherein all Commodity products are exchanged to satisfy current demand. Traders engage in it to remove any inefficiency in the market. In the market for commodities, there is always a way to make a profit with managed risk, and this is via arbitrage where traders play with immediate price differentials.

During this module, students will have the opportunity

  • To identify new trading opportunities using Business analysis canva
  • To test in a simulation environment their concrete understanding of the trading industry: from the management of cash contract, monitoring of portfolio/positions to hedging cash contracts on exchanges.
  • To familiarize themselves with real tools of the industry: Data Management Screen, Order Management System, Document templates from the industry.

Information will be presented in the form of use cases, academic research, articles, and whitepapers published by respected scholars and experts in the field, and the actual disclosures of major multi-national companies in the industry, including service providers, consultancy companies…

Rules of the simulation will be communicated in detail at the beginning of the module through the commodities trading simulation Handbook.

Students will have to connect to many platforms and will receive details for this purpose.


Guillaume de La Ville


This module presents the various financing methods that are available to the commodity trading companies.

The module first deals with the types of financing which are typically used by or available to commodity trading/distribution companies, such as:

  • Transactional Trade Finance;
  • Inventory Financing – repurchase agreements;
  • Borrowing Base;
  • Prefinance and Pre-export finance, which are two different types of financing yet having some common features;
  • Payment Risk Assumption (“PRA”) & Credit Risk Insurance (“CRI”), two credit risk mitigating tools that share common aspects but also significantly differ.

The module also covers some other types of financing which can be used by commodity trading companies when they reach a certain stage of development and/or are used by other commodity markets participants (E&P players, mine owners,..), namely: 

  • Reserve Base Lending (“RBL”);
  • Revolving Credit Facility (“RCF”).

Other types of financing which will be covered in Module 10 include Asset Finance, Acquisition Finance, Bridge Loan and Project Finance.

Course Objectives and Takeaways

Objectives of module 7 are the following:

  • give participants an understanding of the various tools/products and methodologies that lenders have developed over the years in order to finance the commodity trading companies, and 
  • illustrate how commodity trading companies manage their treasury requirements thanks to such financing tools.

Each type of financing is dealt in a similar manner, i.e. covering the following aspects:

  1. Principle & reimbursement sources
  2. Parties involved
  3. Type of duration
  4. Typical risks
  5. Securities
  6. Challenges for the Lender and the Borrower
  7. Advantages for the Lender and the Borrower
  8. Nature of the financing
  9. Typical structure of the credit facility
  10. Legal framework
  11. Management – follow up and position keeping.

At the end of the course, the participants will be able to: 

  • Understand the specificities of the various financing methods available in order to finance trading companies, some of the technical aspects of such methods, the sources of risks and how to mitigate them.
  • Have hints and tips to help choose/decide which type of financing would be the most appropriate depending on the business and related needs of the trading company.
  • Be familiar with the specific language of the industry in order to be in a position to exchange with other members of the industry.
  • Understand how trading companies manage their treasury requirements thanks to the use of the various financing methods covered.



Lilach Trabelsi


Course Overview:

The objective of this course is to provide students with an overview of expectations towards corporations active in commodity trading in the area of responsible business conduct. It will examine international standards, with a special focus on business and human rights and what is expected from companies and how it should be implemented in commodity trading. Looking at the latest developments in business and human rights in commodity trading it will provide students with tools to address this increasing concern and to avoid potential adverse impacts of corporations.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand expectations towards companies in the area of responsible business conduct
  • Understand responsibilities of commodity trading companies in the area of business and human rights
  • Analyse challenges in responsible business conduct in commodity trading
  • Analyse potential negative human rights impact in commodity trading activity
  • Develop proposals for enhancing responsible business conduct in commodity trading


Carine Albertini


Shipping and Trading Operations

  • Seaborne transportation

  • Negotiation and Contract set-up

  • Execution and Logistics (Nomination, Quality/Inspection, Storage, Documentation, Finalisation, example of operations walkthrough)


Each module is subject to an assessment, including one or a combination of the following: in-class exam, classroom presentation, take-home assignment.

Diploma awarded

Students who successfully complete the program will be awarded the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Commodity Trading / Certificat de formation continue (CAS) en négoce des matières premières by the Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM) of the University of Geneva.

Admission criteria

  • University degree, or equivalent
  • Minimum of 3 years of relevant professional experience
  • Proficiency in English

Steering committee

  • Professor Jean-Paul Vulliéty, Academic Director, University of Geneva
  • Mrs Eliane Palivoda-Herren, Executive Director

Comité scientifique

  • Prof. Jean-Paul Vulliéty (GSEM, Unige)
  • Prof. Marcelo Olarreaga (GSEM, Unige)
  • Prof. Salvatore Di Falco (GSEM, Unige)
  • Mr Benoit Lioud (Mercuria Energy Group)
  • Mr Pierre-Edouard Dolhen (Louis-Dreyfus Commodities)
  • Mr Olivier Thyssen (Banque Cantonale de Genève)
  • Mr Serge Claus (SUISSENÉGOCE )
  • Mr Simeon Lachev (Metinvest International SA)
  • Mr Guillaume de La Ville (Ezpada Group)
  • Mr Rafael Huber (Cargill)
  • Mr Daniel Loeffler (Département du développement économique)
  • Mr Vincent Subilia (CCIG)

Number of participants

Max. 30 participants

Detailed fees

  • Total tuition fee (CAS): CHF  8'500.-.
  • Application fee (non-refundable): CHF 250.-.
  • Individual modules: participants may enroll in 2 or 3 individual modules, totaling a maximum of 6 ECTS credits.
  • Enrolment in the program is official only upon settlement of enrolment / tuition fees within the deadlines.
  • In case of withdrawal after the start of the program, the full tuition fee remains payable to the program. There are no refunds in the event of course failure or expulsion from the program.
  • No scholarships are offered.
  • The Certificate of Advanced Studies is issued upon successful completion of all modules and payment of the tuition fee.
  • After obtaining the CAS, participants can continue their studies to obtain the DAS by completing the missing modules; this must be done in the year immediately following the CAS.

Participants may request one or two instalments if they are paying the tuition themselves. Instalments are as follows:

  • One instalment (CHF 8'500): Deadline - July 31, 2024
  • Two instalments (2 x CHF 4'250): Deadlines - July 31 & September 30, 2024

If the tuition is paid by a third party, only one invoice will be issued.

Request for instalments must be made at the time participants are accepted in the program.



The following documents must be submitted during the online application:

  • ID Card or passport 
  • Passport-size photo (.jpg format) 
  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 3 pages)
  • Cover letter 
  • Bachelor Degree and/or the highest educational qualification obtained (e.g., Master or PhD)
  • Letter of recommendation from the current employer
  • Work certificates (or work contracts) from former employers


The CAS program includes 8 modules (18 ECTS): modules are taught online, except for the first week (2 modules) which is held onsite in Geneva.

  • Onsite modules:  2 x 3 consecutive full days | 8.30 am - 6.00 pm
  • Online modules: 12.00 pm - 2.00 pm



  • 100 % attendance is required to validate a module.
  • Online courses: participants must ensure they have a good connection; modules will not be validated in the event of partial attendance due to poor connection.
  • Lessons are not recorded.
  • For each teaching hour, participants should expect 1-2 additional hours for course preparation (reading, case studies, assignments,...).
  • Each course is assessed by an individual and/or group exam, in class or at home. 
  • Participants have a maximum of 2 attempts to validate the module (the initial exam and the make-up exam).
  • The Diploma is issued upon successful completion of all modules.



SUISSENÉGOCE (formerly the Swiss Trading and Shipping Association, STSA)



Several networking events are organized throughout the year by the Commodity Trading Association (CTA).

These events offer our participants an excellent opportunity to meet experts from the trading and commodities related fields.  

  • John Keane, Managing partner, Petroconsult Sàrl - Linkedin
  • Xavier Trabia, Independent investor - Linkedin
  • Paula Freire, Global head of applications and regional IT head EMEA, APAC and China, COFCO International - Linkedin
  • Pierre Theze, Head documentary credit, Banque cantonale vaudoise - Linkedin
  • Pierre-Edouard Dolhen, Head of EMEA Derivatives Middle Office, Louis Dreyfus Company Suisse S.A. - Linkedin
  • Guillaume de La Ville, Owner at Commodity Finance Guillaume de La Ville, Geneva - Linkedin
  • Lilach Trabelsi, Research Project Head, Geneva Center for Business and Human Rights of the University of Geneva - Linkedin
  • Carine Albertini, Head of Operations, Sahara Group - Linkedin

"Commuting from Zug to Geneva to attend the DAS program was totally worth it. I have had the chance to meet amazing professionals amoung teachers and colleagues.  It's been a very interesting introduction to Commodity Trading industry, with valuable insights and great network opportunity.  The program represents a great opportunity to learn from experienced professionals with very diverse backgrounds. I totally recomand the program to whoever wish to expand professional network and gain exposure on the industry. " Luminita Tudose, SEBA Bank AG

"Expand My Knowledge"
"Enlarging The Understanding"
"An Invaluable Experience"
"A Major Benefit"
"A Valuable Network"
"An Amazing Programme"

Contribution to the SDGs

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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