World’s Biggest Energy Traders Are Returning to Metals Markets – by Archie Hunter, Jack Farchy and Mark Burton (Bloomberg News – April 24, 2024)

Some of the world’s biggest energy trading companies are returning to metals, years after getting burnt in the notoriously difficult markets. Vitol Group, Gunvor Group and Mercuria Energy Group are among the traders building out their metals teams, as they look to deploy capital generated by record profits.

The shift comes as forecasters turn increasingly bullish on copper, aluminum and other metals, where long-anticipated production shortfalls are starting to take shape. Many commodities houses also see strong links between metals usage and power markets — another growth area for traders.

The energy giants are entering a sector that’s proven difficult to trade in the past, and one that’s largely dominated by two players: Glencore Plc and Trafigura Group. Their arrival could challenge smaller-scale metals traders, which have struggled to turn a profit in recent years as soaring energy prices and supply chain disruptions crimped demand from manufacturers.

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