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Datamyne Blog

Covering trade & transport, with tips on using import-export data to advantage

Following Glencore

Trade data can shed light on a low-profile company’s x-border commerce

Back on April 7, we took a look at what Datamyne trade data can reveal about Colombia’s consumption of US exports. We noticed then, but didn’t comment on, the fact that three of Colombia’s top five importers of off-highway dump trucks have ties to Glencore International A.G. (The three affiliates are, at #1, Carbones Del Cerrejon; #4 Consorcio Minero Unido S.A.; and #5 C.I. Prodeco Productors de Colombia S.A.)

Glencore is, of course, the closely-held company that grabbed headlines one week later with its formal announcement of an $11-billion initial public offering to be made on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges in May.

Keeping a low profile, Glencore has acquired multiple interests around the world in three broad commodities areas: metals and minerals, energy products, and agricultural products. How Glencore will structure its IPO and subsequently reorganize its holdings have been the subjects of intense speculation by investors, commodities markets and, not least, the countries that produce (or import) the commodities in which the Swiss-based company deals.

The pending IPO will certainly oblige the publicity-shy company to disclose more information about its activities than ever before (for example, its bid on rising grain prices last summer reported in the Financial Times). But its habit of secrecy apparently remains in force (worrying some potential investors, according to Reuters).

For a reliable source of information about the cross-border commerce of Glencore’s numerous affiliates you can turn to Datamyne’s trade data on the US, the EU and Latin America. Our Colombian data shows the extent to which Glencore dominates that country’s coal exports, as well as an important market for US mining equipment.

Another example: Datamyne’s bill-of-lading data supplies details of US import transactions with Xstrata, a diversified mining company, currently 34.5% owned by Glencore. Xstrata is a source for coal, lumpy chrome, and nickel, among other commodities – including non-usable electronic components and computer mother boards from which precious metals are harvested at Xstrata Recycling, headquartered in California. We also looked at US imports from Chemoil, Kazzinc, and C.I. Prodeco Productors.

To learn more about what the data can reveal about the trading activities of these or any other players in commodities, ask to speak with one of our trade data specialists.

Date posted: April 26, 2011

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