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Iron Ore Prices Hit Fresh 21-Month Lows As Commodity Ponzi Probe Escalates

Iron Ore Prices Hit Fresh 21-Month Lows As Commodity Ponzi Probe Escalates

Tyler Durden on 06/13/2014 11:24 -0400

Anxiety over the Qingdao port and warehouse probe is slowly but surely creeping through all the commodities that were used in China’s commoditty-financing-deals (as we noted here). With Copper hurting (and gold picking up), Iron Ore prices have tumbled to 21-month lows (near the lowest since 2009) as ‘real’ demand slows as the economy slows and ‘financial’ demand is crushed as “banks are more vigilant about iron ore financing.” As Bloomberg reports, investigators are trying to determine if individual batches of commodities were used multiple times to secure loans. This is making banks nervous (shadow and non-shadow) and while iron ore inventory is falling, prices are adjusting lower rapidly as traders anticipate “financing problems forcing traders to dump ore.”

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As Bloomberg reports, things are not looking rosy for the commodity ponzi probe…

“Banks are more vigilant about iron ore financing… credit is clearly tight for a lot of people in the sector.”

Investigators are trying to determine if single batches of copper and aluminum were used to secure multiple loans, bankers assisting with the probe told Bloomberg News this week. This will spur foreign banks to lend less money against commodity inventories in China, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said June 9.

“If the probe spills over to iron ore inventory, traders will have problems getting financing,” Wu Zhili, a steel analyst at Shenhua Futures Co. in Shenzhen, said by phone. “They might start to dump ore, resulting in a market selloff.”

“We are now well into a process of price adjustment,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, forecasting an average of $100 this year. “The supply surplus appears to be biting much faster than many assumed now that it’s finally emerged.”

As we explained previously, the CCFD unwind works as follows…

In this context, an unwind of Chinese commodity financing deals would likely result in an increase in availability of physical inventory (physical selling), and an increase in futures buying (buying back the hedge) – thereby resulting in a lower physical price than futures price, as well as resulting in a lower overall price curve (or full carry) (Exhibit 11).

Which must make market participants wonder just how much of the gains in various industriual commodities were due to artificial financing needs and not real demand.. which in turn created mal-inmvestment signals all around the world.

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About bambooinnovator
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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