- The WSJ shines a light onto "shadow warehouses," a hidden system of facilities that store tens of millions of tons of aluminum, copper, nickel and zinc across the globe for banks, hedge funds and commodity merchants.
- The warehouses operate outside the London Metal Exchange's system, are unregulated, and don't provide details of their holdings. As a result, it's unclear how much metal is held in the shadow system. This lack of visibility could cause major price swings.
- The WSJ article follows allegations that warehousing companies have artificially boosted the price of metals, particularly aluminum.
- Companies that operate metals warehouses include Goldman Sachs (GS), Glencore Xstrata (GLCNF) and JPMorgan (JPM), although the latter is looking to sell its commodities unit.
- Relevant tickers include VALE, AA, AWC, KALU, MNSF, CENX, NOR, BHP, RIO, ACH.
- ETFs: DBC, JJC, DBB, DJP, GSG, RJI, GCC, USCI, CFD, JJN, JJT, BOM, RGRC, CPER, CTF, RJZ, GSC, LSC, GSP, JJU, DEE, BDD, BOS, JJM, DYY, DDP, DJCI, LD, CMD, BCM, CUPM, UCI, RGRI, UCD, UBM, FOIL, BDG, LEDD, CMDT, SBV, USMI, DPU, NINI, FTGC, CSCB, CSCR, HEVY