Wednesday March 10, 2021
$ 36 million sunk
Commodity trader gets stones instead of copper
Mercuria Energy has sued a Turkish business partner. The reason: Instead of raw copper, the raw materials trader received paving stones. This was only noticed when the cargo was unloaded in China.
The deal went wrong: The commodities trader Mercuria Energy bought raw copper from a Turkish supplier in the summer – 6,000 tons for 36 million dollars. As the financial service provider “Bloomberg” reports, there was a nasty surprise when the 300 containers arrived in China. They weren’t filled with copper, but with painted cobblestones.
According to the report, the cargo was exchanged before shipment started from a port near Istanbul to Qingdao in the People’s Republic. This bizarre case shows how vulnerable commodity traders are to fraud, it said.
The Turkish police have now arrested 13 people. The perpetrators had obviously taken the trouble to paint the cobblestones copper-colored. Mercuria has sued the supplier for damages.