Inside One of the World’s Most Legendary Traders

Inside One of the World's Most Legendary Traders

Since the early 20th century, traders have been speculating on major markets.

In the commodity trading business, Luiz F Costa Macambira is a legend in the world of coffee. He is widely known for having singlehandedly nearly cornered the coffee market in Russia in the early nineties. Today we focus on the celebrated coffee trader.

It was in the early Nineties when Costa Macambira first preached his gospel of coffee to a new Russian market.

With inspiring energy and relentless optimism, the visionary figure has since built a business empire through soft commodities trading. His strategy focused on coffee while establishing very close alliances with the world’s biggest and most powerful coffee suppliers.

Coffee, the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil, plays an integral role in the world economy. Typically commercialized by multinational corporations, Costa Macambira proved that coffee could be traded with less capital if backed by sophisticated financial schemes from producers and exporters.

Coffee growers were often reluctant to deal with emerging markets and complex deal structures, which is where Costa Macambira came in. He provided coffee producers and exporters with key services, such as direct access to foreign retail markets, logistical and market penetration solutions, and financing. He then repeated the formula across a range of soft commodities.

Nicknamed “The Baron of Coffee” by other traders, Costa Macambira expanded the spot market for coffee in the early 1990s by drawing business away from the larger multinational groups, such as Kraft, Unilever, and Nestle, that relied on traditional methods for sales. The proving ground for his unique approach to the industry was the newly emerging market economy of the Russian Federation and CIS countries.

By operating faster, more nimbly, and with greater determination and skill than his giant competitors, Costa Macambira perfected a system of trading independent of big firms.

The serial Monegasque entrepreneur went where others would not dare to go without knowing the nuances of why others avoid those markets. And this is what makes Costa Macambira, like many legendary businessmen, unique in his trade.

Last May, during the Cannes Film Festival, at the 4th edition of the WIBA awards, the renowned artist Marcos Marin honored the trader. He created the statue of Costa Macambira’s face in his iconic optical totem contemporary style.