Trafigura is set to explore shipping and cargo partnerships against a tough background for smaller players.

The Swiss trader and vessel charterer said 2022 has the potential to be a busy year for acquisitions and mergers in general, as shipowners either opt to go private or seek to join forces to gain economies of scale.

Trafigura believes its sheer size can make it part of this process.

The shipping desk carried out 4,834 vessels fixtures in the year to 30 September, against 4,225 in the previous 12 months.