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Even as the oil and gas sector marked a year of record losses, trading giant Trafigura showed just how nimble it can be during a crisis. The company raked in net profits of $1.6 billion in 2020—its best result since 2013—as Trafigura used its status as a trader and middleman to benefit from extreme volatility that sent oil markets rocketing from negative prices back near multiyear highs, all in less than 12 months. Trafigura also benefited from the rebound in demand for metals in Asia midway through the year. In January 2021, it announced its first emissions targets, a sign of the expanding public pressure on even trading houses to reduce their carbon footprint.
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