Commodity shortages and high scrap prices - Stainless Espresso
Commodity shortages and high scrap prices – Stainless Espresso

10 February 2023 – Commodity shortages and high scrap prices threaten structurally weaker countries more quickly. And can easily lead to domino effects that take entire industries with them when one commodity becomes scarce. New scam in nickel? Why you have to be careful with commodity deals.

Commodity shortages and high scrap prices

The shortage of raw materials and the high prices associated with it, especially for ferrous scrap, hit structurally weaker countries particularly hard. Currently, Pakistan and its steel producers are leading the way.

Steel crisis in Pakistan due to commodity shortages

Pakistani steel producers have already been suffering from a massive crisis for several months. The decline of the Pakistani currency, high prices for raw materials and scrap, and the lack of financing options, especially Letter of Credit (LC), are bringing the manufacturers to the brink of collapse. Calls for government-backed LC have been going around the Pakistani media for some time, but so far seem to be falling on deaf ears with the government.

Steel price in Pakistan at all-time high

The price of steel in Pakistan has now reached an all-time high and is already affecting other industries. This is yet another example of how, when a certain commodity is not sufficiently available, the structurally weaker countries in particular suffer first from the lack of these raw materials, and this can quickly lead to a domino effect in the local economies.

New nickel scam with damages of more than US$577mn?

Commodities, especially the valuable nickel, are repeatedly the target of fraudulent schemes. Now it seems to have hit Trafigura, a major commodity trader based in Singapore, where damages of more than half a billion US dollars may have been incurred.

Watch out when buying commodities

Not an isolated case, think back to the billion dollar scam involving nickel from 2021, for example. Or the cases where non-existent aluminium or copper was sold in China and the buyers ended up with empty warehouses. But even on a small scale, there are repeated cases of damage, such as a Turkish trader two years ago who received a container full of tyres instead of the promised stainless steel coils from China.

Watch out when buying raw materials. The cheapest price is not always the best offer. Otherwise you will quickly pay double and triple on top.

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