New Delhi, July 16 (Reuters): Switzerland-based Trafigura has launched an online store in India to sell aluminium, copper and other metals, seeking a slice of the $8-billion market and becoming the first big commodities trader to cater to hordes of small manufacturers dotting the country.
Trafigura, co-founded by French billionaire Claude Dauphin, said it has been drawn in by India’s primary metals market that is forecast to grow at up to 8 per cent a year.
Small and medium businesses contribute to more than a third of the market, but most of them depend on traditional methods of procurement. Per-capita consumption of nearly all metals in India, Asia’s third-largest economy, is far below world levels.
The online store, named Lykos, will sell consignments of 1 to 24 tonnes of aluminium, copper, lead, nickel, tin and zinc at index-linked prices, Trafigura said in a statement on Wednesday.
“There is a strong demand for refined metals such as aluminium, copper and zinc in smaller lot sizes, but currently the market suffers from lack of automation, erratic supply, poor quality control, complex transportation logistics and opaque pricing,” said Raoul Bajaj, chief executive of Trafigura India.
Customers will have to take delivery from warehouses newly built near manufacturing centres in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bengal. More warehouses are planned.