Are mispricing and the opacity of commodities trading in
The world's poorest continent remains heavily dependent on natural resources and so is extremely vulnerable to manipulations in the price of the commodities it extracts and exports, with very real consequences for its economies.
But critics say the way commodities are traded through the country is shrouded in opacity and this ultimately deprives developing regions such as
The Swiss government last week took steps that it says will bring more transparency to its lucrative commodities trading sector, but the problem is deep-seated.
For example, a 2010 study by
In 2008, the study estimated,
A study in January by the
That report analysed 244 jurisdictions, including virtually all sub-Saharan countries, and almost 2,600 commodity categories, and found that the average price of commodity exports to
The difference here cost developing countries about
The Swiss impact varies from commodity to commodity. As for platinum, it looks to be a case of depressing prices that has consequences for the continent's most advanced economy,
Reuters has reported that vaults in the Zurich Freilager, or freezone, may hold around 20 per cent of the total stocks of platinum in
"A platinum price rise would have benefited
He said there were two ways in which prices might have been depressed during the strike.
Tracking the Swiss connections is not always easy. Metals sent to the freezones, for example, are not recorded by Swiss customs because of their tax-exempt status.
In other cases, commodities such as copper will be recorded as destined for
This all adds to the levels of opacity associated with
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