Goldman Sachs' commodities team reportedly raked in $3 billion in 2022, with wild swings fueling one of its best years ever

  • Goldman Sachs’ commodities traders pulled in $3 billion in revenue in 2022, Bloomberg reported Thursday, marking a near-record performance. 
  • Traders profited from big prices swings for energy, metals and other natural resources after Russia invaded Ukraine last year. 
  • The commodities group has emerged as a key profit source for the investment bank. 

Commodities traders at Goldman Sachs hauled in more than $3 billion last year, Bloomberg reported Thursday, marking one of their best performances as they profited from sharp price swings set off by Russia’s war against Ukraine. 

The investment bank posted financial results last month but doesn’t break out revenue and profit generated at the commodities desk. For total trading in fixed income, currencies and commodities, revenue jumped 38% to $14.68 billion.

Sources told Bloomberg that commodities trading alone brought in over $3 billion, well above revenue of about $2 billion in the prior two years and approaching the high of $3.4 billion in 2009.

Goldman’s commodities group emerged as a key source of profit in a year when overall net income was halved to $10.8 billion, the report said. Its strong performance has reinforced its renewed status inside the center of power at the investment bank following a slump, it added. 

The commodities team navigated through a turbulent market in 2022 for natural resources, highlighted by big price swings for energy, metals and agricultural products after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.

Ukraine had large shares of the global market for wheat and barley and other commodities, while Russia’s vast oil and gas supplies were largely shunned by the West or were cut off by Moscow. 

The volatility cultivated a particularly profitable period for traders from physical commodity houses to hedge funds, banks and other participants in financial markets.

For instance, commodities trading giant Trafigura generated $7 billion in profit during its fiscal year that ended in September, more than it made in the previous four years combined, according to Bloomberg.