Chemical traders get a bad press - roundly abused by producers, consumers and even reporters, all of whom resent having too rely on them when they are in difficulty. Nonetheless, the ones who stick at it seem to think that the rewards are worth it, even in these problematic and unpredictable times when real physical demand for their products has suddenly dropped away.
But is the life of a chemical trader as bad as that of a forex or share trader? Reviewing a new BBC series, "Million Dollar Traders," Lucy Kellaway writes in today's Financial Times:
"The message that the programme rammed home is that being a trader is the worst job in the world. That it is horrible in normal conditions - all that fear of losing, and never being able to leave your desk. But in abnormal ones, when markets are volatile and falling, it is more beastly than a human being should be asked to bear."