Impala to focus on Chinese facilities after Qingdao warehouse fraud

Shanghai: Impala Terminals, Trafigura’s logistics and warehousing unit, is exiting its third-party refined metals sites worldwide to focus its business at its own facilities in China, Antwerp and Dubai.

“In China, we are restructuring our activities to strengthen operational control on the ground,” Trafigura said in a statement as it released its annual report. “We are exiting third-party warehouses and focusing our energies on four locations where we lease or own the site and employ our own staff.”

Impala will cease operation at its third-party warehouses in Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Turkey and Italy by the end of 2014, Reuters reports, and will focus on sites where the company can keep close control on operations.

The suspected metals financing fraud at Qingdao port, China, has not had a “material” effect on Impala Terminals, parent Trafigura said, but has affected some partners’ confidence in the industry as a whole.

In May, Chinese authorities began investigating whether fake warehouse receipts were used to obtain multiple loans secured against a single cargo of metal at Qingdao port and nearby Penglai.

“Impala Terminals is focusing on export markets for bulk commodities (dry/wet) and on its larger, capital-intensive port and terminal developments selectively on a global basis,” Trafigura said.

In October, a subsidiary of Citic Securities, China’s largest investment bank, signed an agreement with Impala to set up a joint warehousing and logistics unit in China. [9/12/14]

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