New Crop Brazilian Sugar 2023! Now Available! Bulk loads only under contract $405.00 USD/metric ton. Spot at $450.00 USD.
Please email
In This Article

Our Guide To Agricultural Commodity Arbitration

Kassandra Bureau
Commodity Risk Assessor

In the intricate world of agro-commodity trading, conflict is often just as ubiquitous as corn in a Nebraska field. This is where the art of arbitration comes into play—a form of dispute resolution that is as vital to the trader’s toolkit as a deep understanding of global markets. At Agro Maritime Commodities, we believe in the power of knowledge, so let’s embark on a journey into the world of agricultural commodity arbitration.

Understanding Agricultural Commodity Trading 

Agricultural commodity trading is the heart that pumps life into the global food supply. It involves buying, selling, and trading physical goods like grains, livestock, and other agricultural products. The transactions can be complex, involving multiple parties, differing legal jurisdictions, and fluctuating market dynamics.

In such a complicated landscape, disputes can and do arise. A seller might deliver a commodity of lesser quality than agreed upon, and a buyer might fail to make payment on time. Understanding these potential conflicts and how to resolve them is an integral part of agro-commodity trading.

The Role of the Agricultural Commodity Broker in Dispute Resolution 

Like those at Agro Maritime Commodities, agricultural commodity brokers play a crucial role in preventing and managing disputes, our brokers are skilled in predicting market trends and adept at fostering vigorous, transparent relationships between buyers and sellers.

Our brokers’ key strategies in dispute management include thorough due diligence, clear communication, and proactive problem-solving. They serve as mediators, using their industry knowledge and diplomatic skills to address issues before they escalate into full-blown disputes.

Introduction to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) 

When disputes become too complex for parties to resolve independently, they often turn to an external authority. This is where the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) steps in. Founded in 1919, the ICC is a globally recognized institution that provides dispute resolution services for businesses, including arbitration.

ICC arbitration is an alternative to court litigation, and it involves an impartial arbitrator (or a panel of arbitrators) who reviews the evidence and makes a binding decision. This form of dispute resolution is highly valued in international trade for its confidentiality, neutrality, and enforceability.

The Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce 

ICC’s Rules of Arbitration are a set of procedural rules that govern the arbitration process. They provide a clear framework for resolving disputes, from the initial filing of a case to the final award.

Essential rules that apply to agro-commodity trading disputes include: 

Article 5 (The Answer to the Request)

The respondent must address the issues raised in the request for arbitration, giving their version of the facts and their arguments against the claims.

Article 25 (Establishing the Facts of the Case)

This rule provides guidelines on how the tribunal should gather and evaluate evidence.

Article 31 (Making of the Award)

The tribunal’s decision (the “award”) must be reasoned, in writing, and signed.

While the rules may appear complex, they are designed to ensure fairness and transparency in arbitration. Knowledge of these rules can be a valuable tool in the hands of a skilled agro-commodity broker.

ICC Arbitration in Practice: Case Studies from Agro Maritime Commodities 

At Agro Maritime Commodities, we have seen firsthand the value of ICC arbitration. Let’s take a hypothetical dispute: A buyer claimed that the soybeans they received from a seller were of a lower grade than specified in the contract. After unsuccessful attempts to resolve the dispute independently, they turned to ICC arbitration.

Our brokers, well-versed in ICC’s Rules of Arbitration, guided the parties through the process, from filing the request to presenting their case before the arbitrators. Ultimately, the arbitrators decided in favor of the buyer, awarding them compensation for the difference in value.

This case underscores the importance of understanding the arbitration process. It shows how, with knowledge and guidance, traders can use ICC arbitration to uphold their rights and reach fair outcomes.


The Value of Arbitration in Agro Commodity Trading 

Agricultural commodity arbitration, particularly under the auspices of the ICC, is a powerful mechanism for resolving disputes in the complex world of agro-commodity trading. It brings a degree of certainty and fairness to an industry characterized by unpredictability.

At Agro Maritime Commodities, we see arbitration not as a last resort but as an integral part of our strategy for maintaining fair, transparent, and efficient trading relationships. Our commitment to understanding and utilizing effective arbitration practices sets us apart and underpins our success in the industry.

Agro Maritime Commodities

Agro Maritime Commodities is a full service bulk supplier of agricultural commodities and the first corporation worldwide to offer an online auction for commodities.

Enjoyed This Article? Share With Others!