Afternoon Coffee: Tin Supply Chain Abuses, Commodities Traders Look to Blockchain

Tech companies may be stepping up their monitoring of conflict minerals, but they are overlooking human rights abuses in their supply chains in countries such as Myanmar, Colombia and Bolivia, according to a new report from Verisk Maplecroft released today. Tin, which is used in smartphones and tablets, runs the highest risk of being sourced from illegal mines where there are rampant human rights violations, including child labor.

Hot for Blockchain

Banks and traders are hoping to use blockchain to solve enduring problems in commodities trading, the Wall Street Journal reports. Société Générale and the private equity firm Mercuria Investment Co. are considering using blockchain to deliver liquefied natural gas, following a successful delivery of crude oil that was run entirely on a blockchain platform.

Failed Safety Check

The Associated Press reports that nearly 24,000 safety defects were found when government inspectors checked railways used to transport crude oil, including worn rails, broken or missing bolts, and cracked steel bars.

Crude Oil Spending

China surpassed Canada as the biggest buyer of U.S. crude oil in February, Bloomberg reports. The 8.08 million barrels of U.S. light crude imported by China marks nearly a quadrupling of the country’s purchases in January.

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