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Trader’s point of view: Mikhail Chergeshtov

Recycling International regularly spotlights individual scrap traders from all around the globe. Here we give the floor to Mikhail Chergeshtov.

‘Alucon is a non-ferrous trading company with its head office in Limassol, Cyprus. Our office consists of a team of seven people. Additionally, we have a network of representatives in South Africa, China and Japan.
Alucon’s suppliers of secondary aluminium alloys are in Italy, South Africa, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, India, UAE as well as Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Our buyers are mainly companies in Japan, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

Aluminium is the core trading product of our business. We also trade copper, and in the past couple of years we’ve developed a growing division in e-scrap. Currently 2 000 tonnes per year, mainly sourced from Europe but also the Gulf region. Their huge population and emerging electronic consumer base make them a promising e-scrap supplying market. Even though it’s a small market, we’re also active locally in Cyprus by participating in various tenders for scrap electronic telecom equipment such as modems and routers.’

The market

‘There is uncertainty caused by Covid-19 issue, the war, and the lack of crucial parts like semi-conductor and chips. Eventually this all causes huge confusion among both suppliers and buyers. Generally, there is less demand. Buyers and smelters in Japan are waiting until they see a clearer picture.’

Frequent flyer

‘Business trips are normally once or twice a month. Armenia, Georgia, Dubai and France are among the frequent destinations. My next trips are to Cameroon, Nigeria and Dubai. I’m also planning trips to Beijing, Shanghai and Ningbo to visit aluminium and copper end users.’

Favourite hotel – and worst

‘On vacation in Oman my girlfriend and I stayed at The Chedi Muscat. Such an idyllic place. Stylish luxury, very calm, no stress, fantastic food and, above all, their service goes way beyond what they should do. As for business trips, being a relative newcomer in the metals trade I’m still exploring.

Obviously, when travelling for work, what you need is a safe and clean place to stay and a good bed to sleep. My worst experience was in Bucharest. A wonderful city where I spent one night in a very shabby hotel. Noisy and dirty. An old bed, used towels and, when I woke up the next morning, the floor of my room was flooded with water. I found out that I was one of very few guests – no surprise. To summarise: a nightmare rather than a good night’s sleep.’

What I love about my job

‘After my masters study at Moscow State University, I had several commercial positions: at an e-commerce business and media agency and I also ran my own business in restaurant outsourcing. In 2019 I got involved in the metals trade which I really love. I have the opportunity to gain experience from very professional colleagues who have been in the industry for many years. I can also travel and meet people and cultures from all over the world. At the same time travelling these days for me can get complicated because of visa issues.’

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