The Strategist

FT notes Trafigura’s errors in $577M loss in nickel deal

02/27/2023 - 14:02

The FT reported that Trafigura made a number of errors that brought $577 million loss to the company.

According to the Financial Times, which cited court records, Trafigura, one of the biggest traders in the world, lost more than half a billion dollars as a result of several errors it made in a nickel deal.

Early in February, Trafigura asserted that it had been the target of fraud and filed a lawsuit. According to Trafigura, in 2022 it had supply contracts for 1,104 containers of high-grade nickel with businesses connected to Indian entrepreneur Prateek Gupta.

The containers started to arrive at their destination in late December, but inspection showed that they were empty of nickel. In a February hearing that was held behind closed doors, Trafigura informed the court that it had discovered carbon steel, which is much less expensive than nickel, inside the containers.

According to The Financial Times, the trader "missed red flags" in the transaction. It disregarded incorrect product codes in the customs declaration and did not require the necessary cargo analysis certificates when shipping the products, for example. After reviewing the case file, the newspaper reported that Trafigura's internal attorney Mirza Reza Ispahani testified that he did not understand why the business had paid for the cargo despite these inconsistencies.