A Chinese metals tycoon known as “Big Shot” is understood to have lost billions of dollars in mark-to-market losses after the price of nickel soared by more than 170% over the last few days in some of the hairiest financial trading seen for decades.

According to Bloomberg, Xiang Guangda – who controls the world’s biggest nickel producer, Tsingshan Holding Group Co – has been building up short positions in nickel derivatives over the last few weeks. The tycoon was attempting to hedge against the risk of falling prices but appears to have shot himself in the foot as uncertainty over supply issues and increased demand for the commodity has driven prices to record levels.