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Selling a real physical commodity? - Sugar
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Selling a real physical commodity? - Sugar

  #1 (permalink)
Market Wizard
 
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Selling a real physical commodity? - Sugar

A friend here in Colombia contacted me for advice just now as they knew I was a "trader". I explained that I have the SB Futures symbol but real sugar in the real world?

I figured.. ok why not post and see if any kind person here on FIO has ideas on how to go about finding a buyer. As an amusing exercise at least in trading? Possibly someone who really knows sugar as an equity has depth of knowledge?

Description: "Sugar turbinate, Morena and / or INCUMSA 600, With Cuban origin" in 50KG sacks.

8000 metric tonnes of Cuban brown sugar sitting in a warehouse in Panama.

It has been freshly lab tested this month and is still safe for human consumption, harvested in 2012/2013. However the WTO "tag" expired in 2014. I understand it still considered within a good/perfectly safe shelf-life for another year but (I think) it would need to go to a country that would allow import on the lab report over the WTO regulated expiry date? Someone who knows about sugar may have a better idea. Presumably there must be a 'b' market?

This is something I'm a little fuzzy (my bad Spanish) on but some target countries like Gabon, Angola, DR Congo were suggested but nobody has done business there so they are wary of corruption etc. And its difficult for them as they are not fluent in English. Possibly Angola was suggested as they speak Portuguese. Arranging shipping is no problem, they deal in corn and other grains and have expertise here (just not brown sugar).

It would be offered at significantly below index market prices to be attractive.

So... any ideas on what you would do faced with this real trade, in the real world?

Rory

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Just researching to get a sense of scale and it seems 8000 metric tonnes of raw/crude brown cane is quite a lot..

Alibaba could work.
Sugaronline.com seem to offer brokerage services and there are others similar..
Linkedin gives a lot of leads.

My Google Kung-Fu is working again.

Seems far simpler now providing I make the calls or we find a translator to sit in the office for a few days with them. It is weird at times here in Colombia as many smart and educated, have limited exposure to anywhere but neighboring Latino countries (and Miami). They think I am extraordinary as I have been to more than 40 countries but that is not very rare anymore.

Any ideas still welcomed!


Last edited by Rory; April 20th, 2016 at 09:38 PM.
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Real world is really different...

The commodity traders I know here in Europe are mostly trading with contracts
of many lots to deliver. They are working longtime with a supplier and are not
interested in one time offers.

That leads to the best platform Alibaba.com to advertise that special lot (best with
needed fix price Free on Board (FOB). The seller may need to send samples of the
material. Check for paying in advance too.

Best target market could be China - so some advertising in Mandarin might work.

Just my 2 cents
GFIs1

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GFIs1 View Post
Real world is really different...

The commodity traders I know here in Europe are mostly trading with contracts
of many lots to deliver. They are working longtime with a supplier and are not
interested in one time offers.

That leads to the best platform Alibaba.com to advertise that special lot (best with
needed fix price Free on Board (FOB). The seller may need to send samples of the
material. Check for paying in advance too.

Best target market could be China - so some advertising in Mandarin might work.

Just my 2 cents
GFIs1

Alibaba indeed. A classic of Colombia's developing economy, they were not aware of it and its useful for many other out-of-band products for them. Setting an account, a low level Gold account seems sufficient? The suggestion about Mandarin is very clever, appreciated!


Last edited by Rory; April 21st, 2016 at 01:58 PM.
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Rory View Post
Alibaba indeed... a low level Gold account seems sufficient? The suggestion about Mandarin is very clever, appreciated!

... the lowest entry account to publish a one time offer is sufficient! Nothing more.
Those that are interested will contact you immediately - Good luck!

I have good contacts to Mauritius sugar cane production (brown sugar like yours).
The whole production is always sold in advance. Sometimes one year does not fulfill
all contracts depending on the harvest - so some extra amount is needed to get
contracts done. Maybe such countries can also be interested in your advertising on Alibaba.
Just try.

GFIs1

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GFIs1 View Post
... the lowest entry account to publish a one time offer is sufficient! Nothing more.
Those that are interested will contact you immediately - Good luck!

GFIs1

Really thanks GFIs1!

I shall meet with my friend on Sunday and go through the numbers. Your certainly right about the Gold account being too much for a single sale, I just know they have a lot they could offer beyond the sugar.

We shall analyse existing sugar offer advertising and see what is common. I do however want them to learn to spend money as a European company would to get the job done.. Time is not well enough accounted for in Colombian minds They are educated, have good sense & integrity but often lack a depth of knowledge about the world beyond Latin America and how we do things.

And yes, making up a production shortfall is an interesting idea, helps me understand the market forces better.

Thanks again!
Rory

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