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TXF Global Commodity Finance 2022: It’s a gas

To celebrate the launch of the events platform, and the fact we are three weeks out from TXF Global Commodity Finance 2022, TXF’s Aife Howse gets the inside scoop from Melinda Moore, CEO of Clean Mining, as they deep dive into the geopolitical relationship with rising base metals prices
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Three weeks out from TXF Global Commodity Finance 2022 and our virtual events platform, with an event guest list to schedule both in-person and virtual meetings, is now live. Taking place from 10-11 May, the physical event in Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam, will also be held as a live virtual event.  

To kick off two days of unmissable speakers and workshops, extended networking breaks, and an awards ceremony – finally back in physical format – we will be releasing weekly teaser content in the run up to the event itself.

On launch of the platform this week, I spoke to Melinda Moore, CEO of Clean Mining, to outline which commodities have been struck with the highest levels of price volatility off the back heightened geopolitical instability. We also discuss if the electric vehicle (EV) market is really in danger as base metal prices soar; and whether the role of base metals in green infrastructure offsets the various ESG issues associated with its circular supply chain.

One of the top takeaways from Moore’s analysis was a focus on the vast gap between base metal supply and demand, and the consequences this will have on the industry from both a consumer and a net-zero emissions (NZE) perspective.

Russia’s war against Ukraine has hugely exacerbated an already complex situation in the base metals sector just as the industry is catching up from Covid disruptions. But as with everything in the commodities industry, supply is affected by so much more than just one or two factors, and there are a host of other supply chain issues ticking away in the background.

From a dearth of vessel crew and shipping containers to microchip ability, which may not even begin to roll out until 2024, there are a multitude of headwinds facing the market, according to Moore. Some other factors that are squeezing supply are the serious lack of funding and government policy support in the mining industry, and various political concerns over new mining projects.

But on the demand side, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that EV battery requirements for base metals such as lithium, copper, and zinc, need volume to increase by 30 times by 2040, just to meet the EV requirements for NZE. Moore says this creates a need for an increase of at least four-fold in each base metal’s total supply balances – a near impossible volume to meet.

As Moore puts it: “There is a massive gap in the supply and demand scenarios to meet net zero timetables, which is putting evident pressure on industry participants … we are facing a much stronger supercycle than one that already endangered the dreams of net zero”. Moore also points out that there was next to no mining representation on stage at COP26 last year, despite it being a critical industry to energy transition. This starkly highlights the disconnect between the mining industry and what the products of the industry are used for.

And outside of the vast mismatch between supply and demand which is driving up prices, Russia’s war against Ukraine means “it is going to take an awful lot of geopolitical willpower to create the right mechanisms for trade,” Moore explains.

In short, the industry and consumers will have to heavily rely on policymakers to ensure that they balance out these competing concerns, and furthermore, she concludes that we might even see rationing across multiple commodities products off the back of the current geopolitical turmoil.

All these trends and headwinds, and so much more, will be explored further in Amsterdam, at a time when it couldn’t be more critical to come together as an industry. Traders and producers currently account for an impressive 60% of the guestlist, including names such as Archer Daniels Midland, Axpo, BP, Bunge, Climate Neutral Commodity, COFCO, Czarnikow, Glencore, Gunvor, London Metal Exchange, Louis Dreyfus, Mercator Commodities, Mercuria, Metinvest, Shell, Trafigura, Viterra, and Vitol.

For those who are already registered, click here to visit the events platform, book in your meetings, and view the full guestlist and pre-event content, and to register your place at the event, click here.

Become a subscriber today to access the best export, trade and commodity finance analysis available. Email [email protected] to find out more

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