What is Iron, Uranium & Thorium Trade Finance?
The iron ore industry has been extremely volatile in the last six months as trade tensions mount between the USA & China. In contrast, market interest in highly radioactive uranium, and semi-radioactive thorium is rising as producers step up extraction rates to match international demand for large scale carbon-free energy generation. Selling such high-volume, low-margin commodities in a politically complex macroeconomic environment can put pressure on firms’ cashflow, or even their margins. Trade finance products and expertise can help ease that pressure.
Iron, Uranium & Thorium Trade Finance
The global iron ore extraction industry has faced a number of financial pressures since the financial crisis a decade ago. Over the last five years, prices have been extremely volatile, with occasional sharp spikes arresting a general slump in prices as the market becomes increasingly saturated and demand from key export markets (most notably China) weakens.
In contrast, though the price of uranium fell sharply in 2017, a robust reaction from suppliers cutting their production volumes significantly has increased interest in the commodity. Finally, it’s more naturally abundant but less radioactive cousin thorium continues to be extracted and traded between countries and firms engaged in R&D exploring its use in the energy and military sectors.
As extremely high-capital, low-revenue businesses which often trade with few, well-established customers in high volumes, the financing needs of commodities traders can be complex. Moreover, the operational risk posed to the transport of commodities, the financial risk of dealing with international suppliers in unfamiliar territories, and the currency risk posed by exchange rate fluctuations can all create issues for such businesses. Thankfully, by providing bespoke finance to such firms on terms specifically created to support commodity traders to conduct successful transactions and grow their margins, Trade Finance Global can help.
Key products financed include:
- Your business is profitable, with established customers
- You are operating a creditworthy commodities business
- You have an agreed buyer or seller for your proposed international venture
Trade Finance Global can offer three cash flow transaction services to traders of these commodities. First, conventional export factoring products can provide finance for profitable ventures from a wide variety of backers without the high capital securities required by conventional large-scale by using accounts receivable as the underpinning guarantee. Second, TFG can administer a variety of trade finance tools, such as letters of credit or performance bonds, to ensure that both buyers and sellers within international commodity transactions receive the assurances they need to conduct otherwise risky transactions. Finally, for larger commodity businesses with more complex financial needs, TFG can construct bespoke structured finance products from pools of assets to provide appropriate levels of risk and return.
What are the SIC Codes for trade in Iron, Uranium & Thorium?
A huge series of separate SIC codes exist to cover the full range of activities involving iron, uranium and thorium; from extraction to processing and casting, to wholesale.
Core extraction businesses are covered under three SIC codes:
|07100||Mining of iron ores|
|07210||Mining of uranium and thorium ores|
|09900||Support activities for other mining and quarrying|
Manufacturing, processing and casting activities involving these three metals are subsequently covered under the following SIC codes. Further codes exist for the manufacture of specific products containing these metals, which are not included here.
|24100||Manufacture of basic iron and steel and of ferro-alloys|
|24200||Manufacture of tubes, pipes, hollow profiles and related fittings, of steel|
|24460||Processing of nuclear fuel|
|24510||Casting of iron|
|24520||Casting of steel|
|24530||Casting of light metals|
|25500||Forging, pressing, stamping and roll-forming of metal; powder metallurgy|
|25610||Treatment and coating of metals|
Finally, a number of codes exist for firms involved in the trade of these three metals. These include:
|46120||Agents involved in the sale of fuels, ores, metals and industrial chemicals|
|46150||Agents involved in the sale of furniture, household goods, hardware and ironmongery|
|46720||Wholesale of metals and metal ores|
The extraction, production and casting of other non-ferrous metals is covered in our separate guide to Non-Ferrous Metals Trade Finance.
Full tariff schedules for iron ores, uranium & thorium ores, and iron & steel, can be found on gov.uk.
A large UK processing plant requires a continuous stream of ferrous metal to conduct its business activities. Trade Finance Global has successfully financed and monitored priority shipments to this client to meet peak demand for a number of years.
Speak to our trade finance team
- Access finance quickly when required
- Obtain significant capital without compromising your assets or equity
- Service large profitable orders to stabilise cashflow