Commodities in crisis as Asian shares tumble and shipper files for bankruptcy

Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:21am EDT
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By Henning Gloystein and Denny Thomas

SINGAPORE/HONG KONG (Reuters) - A Japanese shipper filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and global trading firm Louis Dreyfus posted lower profits, the latest victims of tumbling energy and raw material prices.

The London-listed shares of mining and trading giant Glencore rebounded by around 10 percent, clawing back some ground from a near 30 percent slump on Monday.

Investors sold off Glencore bonds, highlighting nerves over its debt burden and financial situation.

Glencore has been afflicted by the same issue facing other miners: the prolonged fall in global metals prices caused partly by a slowdown in China, which is the world's biggest consumer of metals.

Energy and commodity prices have fallen largely because of rising output following heavy investment into new assets while prices were still high, which has increasingly clashed with slowing demand in Asia, where China's economy is growing at its slowest pace in decades.

The problems in the sector contributed to global trading group Louis Dreyfus Commodities B.V reporting a steep drop in first-half profits on Tuesday.

The crisis has also hit the shipping sector, where dry-bulk merchant Daiichi Chuo Kisen Kaisha filed for protection from creditors on Tuesday.

Glencore's shares remain down by more than 80 percent since it listed in 2011, at the last high point of a long commodities boom, with its market capitalization briefly dipping below 10 billion pounds ($15.16 billion) for the first time.   Continued...

The logo of Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar, November 13, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer