The reserve bureau may have to deliver as much as 200,000 metric tons of copper because of positions amassed by the trader, Liu Qibing, the state-run China Daily said Thursday.
has been on leave from his
job since October, people who know him told Bloomberg News last week.They spoke on condition that they not be identified. Liu
built up so-called short positions, betting that copper prices would fall, China Daily reported, meaning that he
entered a contract pledging to deliver copper at a later date at a set price.His
bet was that as prices fell, he
would buy the copper back when it was cheaper and pocket the difference. Copper has gained 34 percent this year, after rising 37 percent last year. Liu worked as the deputy chief of the import and export division of the State Regulation Center of Supplies Reserve, a government agency that traded metal for the reserve bureau.
The trader, who speaks English and sometimes attended industry conferences, is known to brokers at the London Metals Exchange, who say they competed for his