When the contracts we were holding for six months became spot month, the price went all the way up to Php18 (while the actual market price was only Php5). My client and I already sensed that something was amiss. It was as if the market was doing all it can to break our resolve and get us out of the market and take our loss. So, the last time I went to my client to collect the required deposit to cover the full amount of the contracts, we both decided we will deliver. And when I served notice to the company that my client will deliver, it practically got everyone in the exchange truly worried. I received successive phone calls from my own manager asking me to discourage my client because of “the many obstacles we needed to hurdle to get our deliveries accepted by the exchange.” However, I made it very clear to my manager that my client was unwavering on his decision to make the deliveries. It didn’t make sense then to decide not to deliver because doing so will mean taking a whooping loss. Besides, the price of copra in the world market dropped to only Php5, and if we deliver to the exchange, we will get paid with the contract price of Php10 ( a reasonable profit for the 6 month ordeal the exchange made us go through, so we thought).
My manager decided to visit my client personally. I didn’t know what they talked about since they had a one-on-one session while I was sipping coffee at the hotel lobby. But after their talks, my client gave me specific instructions not to liquidate our positions without a reasonable profit.
In the next few days after that, I saw an unbelievable reversal in the price of the spot month of copra futures. From Php18 it went down to Php12. My manager started calling me again to liquidate our positions. My client and I stood firm. When the price reached Php8, my manager called me again and was practically begging me to liquidate. Sensing the utter desperation in him, I called up my client and we liquidated all our positions.
What a nerve racking experience it was for a neophyte trader like me. It was quite revealing though. I found out so early in my career as a commodity futures trader that prices in the Manila International Futures Exchange could be manipulated.
I got the chance to find out how extensive their scam operations were when I was transfered to the main office after they decided to close the branch I was working in. I shall share them with you in my next blog.
(Watch out for my succeeding blogs as they will be more revealing.)