BEIJING (Reuters) – Amol Mehra, chief executive officer of commodities trader Trafigura’s online metals platform Lykos in India, has left the company, he confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday, as trading in the country slows down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lykos services small and medium enterprises in India for battery-making ingredient nickel sulphate and refined metals including aluminium, copper, zinc, tin, nickel in 0.25 tonne to 25 tonnes consignments, but with the nation in lockdown business has come to a halt.

Trafigura, co-founded by French billionaire Claude Dauphin, had intended that Lykos India, launched in 2014, would be integrated with the traditional trading business to better serve the Indian domestic market, a spokesperson said.

“However, with the onset of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic and all businesses in India effectively coming to a temporary halt, Trafigura has decided to address any further development of Lykos for a post COVID-19 environment,” the spokesperson added.

Prior to joining Trafigura in 2016, Mehra ran his own trading house, having worked for Vedanta Resources in Zambia and India previously.

Swiss-based Trafigura has a policy of not commenting on specific employee hirings and departures, a spokesperson said.

Trafigura added that India continues to remain a key market for the commodities trader but the tradeable refined metal market was “still relatively small” in the country.

It added that it will continue to trade refined metals in the Indian domestic market for the forseeable future.

Trafigura has plans to launch the Lykos platform in China later in the year.

“Development for the platform is continuing unabated. China is the largest domestic refined metal market in the world and the Lykos platform will be a key product offering for the Trafigura Group,” the spokesperson said.

(Reporting by Shivani Singh, additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing and Sudarshan Vardhan in Chennai;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)