There has been a lot of talk about Chinese hoarding of commodities. But until now there hasn’t been much focus on pig farmers.
Enter Jeremy Goldwyn, who oversees Asian business development for Sucden Financial.
He wrote in a report to clients that Chinese pig farmers and other speculators may have accumulated more than 50,000 metric tons of copper, according to Bloomberg.
That represents about half the supply registered by the Shanghai Futures Exchange last week, a two-year high of 97,396 tons, Bloomberg reports.
Copper prices have more than doubled this year, thanks largely to Chinese buying.
China’s private investors have purchased “substantial” quantities of the base metal amid the government’s stimulus plan to save the economy, Goldwyn wrote.
It’s difficult to measure Chinese metal demand precisely, as retail investors there engage in heated speculation largely outside the reporting framework of financial exchanges.
“People who have nothing at all to do with the copper trade have been buying copper as a store of value, much like they would with gold,” Jiang Mingjun, an analyst at Shanghai Oriental Futures, told Bloomberg.
Chinese private investors also hold as much as 20,000 tons of nickel, Goldwyn wrote.
China already has turned into the ultimate gold put, as it purchases the precious metal to lessen its dependence on the dollar.
Cheng Siwei, until recently vice chairman of the Communist Party’s Standing Committee, told the London Telegraph that China will continue to buy gold on price dips.
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