Copper and Iron Ore stockpiles across the world have risen steadily in the last 12 months. Recently there has been news of record levels of iron ore stockpile in China. Apparently there’s enough Iron Ore to build 13,000 Eiffel Towers. As for Copper inventories, one can look at how stockpiles have increased at LME registered warehouses. If one adds increase in bonded copper stocks held in free trade zones in China, to this mix – it will be easy to see how Copper stockpiles have risen over the last 12 months.
Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, IBM, Yelp and Niantic all have something in common. They are leaders in the technology delivering augmented reality. From education, engineering, travel, and healthcare to retail shopping, gaming, and sports – industries are utilizing augmented reality to make a difference in how humans are gathering and visualizing information. How does this impact commodity trading?
According to a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, the data analytics revolution has started to gain momentum, but most companies are capturing only a fraction of the potential value from data and analytics. One of the biggest obstacles is data silos. Most of a company’s data is generated and stored in different systems throughout the organization, and these systems are separate, isolated programs.
Anyone observing the Australian energy market would be aware of the steep increase in electricity prices over the last few years. The rise has been so sharp that Australia has one of the highest electricity prices in the world today. Numbers show that real electricity prices for business have increased by almost 60% between 2003 and 2013.
Companies involved with commodities management are very well aware of how price fluctuations, geopolitical risk, and other external factors beyond their control make it very challenging to retain a competitive edge. However, in a volatile business environment where every advantage counts, many companies are still relying on antiquated, error-prone spreadsheets to manage functions including trading, risk management, operations planning, origination, and scheduling.
If your company is still using spreadsheets for commodity or energy trading and risk management (C/ETRM), they most likely contain errors that are already causing irreparable damage.
The rise of big data, computing power, and advanced analytics enables companies to gain valuable insights from data. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and drones are just a few innovative tools now available to help companies gain a more complete view of their businesses and make better decisions. For risk managers, using big data and risk analytics provides an unprecedented ability to identify, measure, and mitigate risk.
Big data is considered “the new oil” because of its tremendous value and its ability to reveal insights once mined and refined, but unlike oil, data is readily available to any company willing to access it. It is being generated constantly from both internal and external sources. Collecting and analyzing all this data requires big data analytics.
On October 1 of this year, the EU sugar quota production system will come to an end. Part of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the system was originally introduced in 1968 to guarantee stable, secure sugar supplies and support EU farmers. It divides a production quota of 13.5 million metric tons of sugar between 19 Member States, permitting out-of-quota (excess) sugar to be exported, sold for industrial non-food uses (e.g. biofuels), or carried forward to the next year’s quota. The EU’s sugar policy also limits sugar exports, imposes import quotas and tariffs, guarantees farmers a minimum price for sugar beet used for quota sugar, and provides suppliers from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states and Least Developed Countries (LDC) with duty-free, quota-free market access.
There was a recent news article about how tthirty-six million pounds of soybeans were tagged and sold as “organic,” even though it was treated with pesticides. The news article explains how the soybeans were grown in Ukraine and shipped as non-organic produce – but when they arrived in California, after passing through Turkey, they had remarkably transformed into organic soybeans. Somewhere along the supply chain, someone made millions of dollars of windfall profits, as a result of this magical transformation. This news underscores an important challenge agriculture and metal companies face today - that of supply chain visibility.
In 1957, Morton Grodzins first used the term “tipping point” to describe societal changes. In physics, the tipping point is the point at which an object that was balanced tips over after additional weight has been added to it. In society, it’s the point at which a quick and dramatic shift in behavior occurs. Electric cars are still a small percentage of the global market, accounting for just over 2 million of the 2 billion cars on the roads in 2016, but the market is changing. Morgan Stanley predicted in a recent report that electric vehicles could account for 50% to 60% of global light vehicle sales by 2040. Are we approaching the tipping point for electric cars? What does that mean for energy markets?