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A Metal Extruder Minimizes Price Risk Exposure by Implementing an Inventory Hedge Strategy
MARKETS: METALS | COMMODITY: ALUMINUM | CLIENT: EXTRUDER / PROCESSOR

Situation

With long lead times on raw materials and short lead times to fulfill customer orders, a metal extrusion company was consistently at risk of buying high and selling low on aluminum inventories. A structured hedge plan has led to significantly reduced risk on inventories.

While metal processors “hope” to pass along commodity price risk to customers, this can be challenging when purchasing commodities at short-term peaks. As commodity prices fall, customers expect their prices to follow. However, in what industry professionals refer to as “metal lag,” the underlying cost of goods is already realized well before the customer order is fulfilled.

This mismatch can lead to reduced margins at best and lost customers at worst. This management team was focused on reducing earnings volatility and its underlying exposure to a rapid fall in commodity prices.

Outcome

While nobody could have predicted the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the strategy was critical to allowing the company to navigate the impacts.

Aluminum prices declined precipitously between March and April 2020. As prices declined, the company recognized significant gains on their inventory hedges, softening the impact of the pandemic and providing financial support that avoided costly inventory liquidations. As prices spiked, the company was able to be back in the market with its inventory intact in a rising price environment.

While we hope it is a rare occasion that the world pauses and the economy stands still, the same strategy can be deployed any time near-term commodity shortages are driving seemingly inflated near-term prices. And it can allow all executives to mitigate risk as they sign off on significant inventory purchases.

 

“AEGIS has been an incredibly helpful partner in enabling our organization to manage risk. With the uncertainty of the pandemic, Section 232 tariffs, and the numerous other landmines we faced, AEGIS was instrumental in making sure that we were properly hedged and informed. The AEGIS Research is presented in a succinct manner that ensures everyone on our team is aware of what is happening in the market.”


Leadership Team   |   Metal Extruder

 

Commodity interest trading involves risk and, therefore, is not appropriate for all persons; failure to manage commercial risk by engaging in some form of hedging also involves risk. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. There is no guarantee that hedge program objectives will be achieved. No representation is being made that any client will or is likely to achieve results similar to those discussed in this case study. Neither this trading advisor nor any of its trading principals offer a trading program to clients, nor do they propose guiding or directing a commodity interest account for any client based on any such trading program. This case study is not required to be, and has not been, filed with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC"). The CFTC does not pass upon the adequacy or accuracy of this commodity trading advisor disclosure. Consequently, the CFTC has not reviewed or approved this case study.

 

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