The people behind sugar news: Nicolle Monteiro de Castro
At ECRUU, we see ourselves as a bridge between those who produce news and those in the sugar and ethanol industry who want and need to read it.
As part of that bridge, we want to bring you closer to the special people who produce the news. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Nicolle Monteiro de Castro from S&P Global Insight Commodities.
Can you tell us a little about what you do and your responsibilities?
Hi Charlotte, first of all, I would like to say that it is a huge pleasure to be interviewed by ECRUU, especially by you, since we both started our careers almost together a few years ago! (Ed’s note: Charlotte worked for S&P Global Commodity Insights from 2012 to 2015)
I’ve been working at Platts (now S&P Global Commodity Insights) since 2014. I started as a sugar and ethanol price reporter. I was responsible for the daily sugar and ethanol price assessments and wrote stories covering market movements.
My responsibilities evolved in 2019 when I became a senior price specialist. This meant going deeper into the market, developing projects for new price assessments, and acting as a speaker and spokesperson for subjects related to sugar, biofuels pricing, and – more recently – the energy transition.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I need to engage on a daily basis with many market participants to follow the market and translate it into price assessments and potential stories. This helps make the market more transparent and corrects distortions. I get to talk with very smart people, and my work helps individuals and companies in their market decisions—this makes me feel very valued in my work.
I get to talk with very smart people, and my work helps individuals and companies in their market decisions—this makes me feel very valued in my work.
I feel very lucky; not only am I passionate about what I do, but I also have a great life-work balance thanks to working from home.
How do you decide what to write about when you write news articles?
Usually, I start a new article when I see a price movement that can be linked to market fundamentals or just a technical movement that triggered an unexpected change in the price pattern. I also write news articles that help the market understand the impact of new developments on a specific sector.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face when preparing a news story?
The hardest part when writing a news story is to remain neutral. When, like me, you’ve been working for over a decade in the sugar and biofuels sectors, you can form opinions. The challenge is to make sure that I am not taking any position or suggesting anything to my readers. My main role, as a writer, is to provide reliable quantitative and qualitative data that will allow my readers to make their own interpretations of a market trend.
How do you see sugar and ethanol news evolving?
It has been amazing to follow the development of the sugar and ethanol markets in the last decade. Companies have learned a lot from the past years. They have been increasing efforts to diversify production, reduce their exposure to a single product and add value to the whole chain.
In Brazil, Renovabio was a milestone. The biofuel industry used to be highly exposed to domestic gasoline pricing policies and had no certainty regarding biofuel demand or whether to invest in it. Despite the recent negative changes in the regulatory and tax environment, I am still optimistic about the future of the biofuels market. Brazil will continue to be an important player in supplying food and renewable fuels to the world.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the sugar and ethanol markets?
My first answer would be the people! It is amazing to see the partnership between the people who work in the sugar and ethanol industries. Of course, there is information that can’t be shared, but in general, what I’ve seen in the last decade is a strong feeling of partnership to support the growth and development of the sugar and ethanol sectors. I also feel strongly that I am working with an industry doing its best to contribute to the global energy transition, by supplying a renewable fuel that is fully committed to high climate and environmental standards.
Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I think that most people see me as a very rational and formal person, probably because of my commitment to covering markets. But the reality is that I am an emotional person who loves informal moments.
You can reach out to Nicolle on her email: email@example.com