The Wall Street Journal: Trafigura to close metals fund in latest sign of stress from low commodity prices

Metals like these are slumping as Chinese demand falters

Commodities trader Trafigura Beheer B.V. said it is closing a metals fund in another sign of how global trading houses continue to struggle against low resource prices.

Galena Metals Fund, which is operated by Trafigura subsidiary Galena Asset Management, is to be wound down “in view of the difficult conditions prevailing on commodities markets,” the company said in a statement.

Metals prices have been badly battered by a slowdown in Chinese demand after years of double-digit economic growth, with everything from copper to nickel recently falling to multiyear lows.

Trafigura is the world’s third-largest independent trading house by revenue, behind Glencore PLC GLNCY, +5.34%   and Vitol Holding B.V. Last year, the Switzerland-based firm bought and sold 169.5 million metric tons of oil, metal and minerals.

But trading houses, which seek to profit from price discrepancies where products are traded, have been badly hit by the downturn across the board.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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