This week IM has been inundated with mixed reports coming out of China. While some sources claim that Chinas stranglehold on the industrial minerals industry is weakening, others say that prospects look strong.
When business was good and global demand for minerals high, China was the goose with the golden egg. But as the construction industry falters - new construction was down 26.7% year-on-year in July according to official Chinese data - and as companies move to substitute high-price minerals for lower-price alternatives, Chinas position looks less stable.
In rare earths (RE), the industry has sought to establish a RE-trading platform, establish a pricing system and also increase investment into environmental management.
News that Chinas...