The Hamburg Grain Exchange
Grain is one of the most important commodities in the world. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, maritime grain transportation rose by around 30 percent to 441 million tonnes.
The Port of Hamburg is northern Europe’s central grain trading hub. Grain trading companies use the Hamburg Grain Exchange to conduct their business. As the only commodities exchange under the roof of the Hamburg Exchange, it serves as a platform for initiating and brokering commercial transactions in grains, oilseeds, feed, pulses, seeds and related items, as well as service transactions in relation to the aforementioned products. The Grain Exchange is operated by the Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Exchange (VdG e.V.), which also represents the interests of wholesalers and foreign trade operators within the industry.
Previously, there were daily meetings of the grain traders, during which grain samples would be brought to the trading floor. For many years now, these have been condensed to three national floor exchanges in January, April and August of each year. Daily trading outside of these meetings is done by phone, fax or e-mail and generally completed by written confirmation with reference to the standard contracts agreed upon by the parties. These standard contracts serve as the legal framework for the transactions and are issued by the Hamburg Grain Exchange.
All in all, there are 27 standard contracts for trading in grain, feed and pulses. These contracts are valid worldwide but are mainly used within Europe. Closely connected to this is the arbitration. The Court of Arbitration of the Hamburg Grain Exchange is one of Germany’s most active courts of arbitration in commercial trade and handles up to 80 law suits every year, often involving foreign parties to the proceedings. The advantages of a private court of arbitration lie not only in the speed and professional expertise of the arbitrators but also in that fact that arbitration awards may be enforced across borders on the basis of international agreements.
The business activities of the Grain Exchange are subject to the Exchange Rules.