Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


(24,399 posts)
Thu Nov 25, 2021, 09:11 PM Nov 2021

The $5 billion hoard of metal the world wants but can't have

On an industrial park about an hour’s drive toward the South China Sea coast from Ho Chi Minh City sit giant mounds of raw metal shrouded in black tarpaulin. Stretching a kilometer in length, the much-coveted hoard could be worth about $5 billion at current prices.

In the esoteric world of aluminum, those in the know say the stockpile in Vietnam is the biggest they have ever seen — and that’s in an industry that spends a lot of time building stockpiles while analysts spend a lot of time trying to locate them. But as far as the increasingly under-supplied market is concerned, it’s one that may never be seen again.


While there used to be millions of tons of aluminum at ports from Detroit and New Orleans in the U.S. to Rotterdam in Europe and Malaysia’s Port Klang, market watchers say the stockpile 50 kilometers from Vietnam’s biggest city is likely the only notable one left.

To put it in perspective, it’s equivalent to the entire annual consumption of India, the world’s second-most populous country, said Duncan Hobbs, a London-based analyst at commodities trader Concord Resources who has been covering metals markets for 25 years.


The hoard was seized as part of a U.S.-led anti-dumping investigation in 2019 focusing on a Chinese billionaire. The Vietnamese authorities say it was accumulated from China by Global Vietnam Aluminium Ltd., known as GVA. They haven’t concluded their investigation, though the initial probe into GVA was dropped because of a lack of evidence.


The blistering rally in prices means the value of the metal has risen more than 50% since it was impounded. If the stockpile ever started moving, the impact could be seismic. It would be more than enough to erase a global deficit that has emerged in the aluminum market this year, and a fire sale could send prices crashing.


6 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
The $5 billion hoard of metal the world wants but can't have (Original Post) rpannier Nov 2021 OP
Law of unintended consequences. marble falls Nov 2021 #1
very interesting Demovictory9 Nov 2021 #2
one beer can at a time onethatcares Nov 2021 #3
plastic tycoon...? myohmy2 Nov 2021 #4
great idea onethatcares Nov 2021 #5
The Graduate, I just want to say one word to you, plastics marie999 Nov 2021 #6


(3,314 posts)
4. plastic tycoon...?
Fri Nov 26, 2021, 08:41 AM
Nov 2021

...I'm waiting for the plastic beer can...

...the plastic automobile engine with steel inserts ...

...how about coffee...over the last several years coffee's gone from steel can to paper can to plastic can to plastic bag...

...I wanna be a plastic tycoon...


(16,312 posts)
5. great idea
Fri Nov 26, 2021, 08:47 AM
Nov 2021

but recycling plastic is so expensive that its cheaper to make new.

At least that's what the plastic making companies have been telling us for years.

See "The many uses of petroleum and plastics" at the google nearest you.

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»The $5 billion hoard of m...