Industry news

Reality bites: China's meddling cools but can't reverse hot commodity prices

China's enormous manufacturing industry, population and fast-growing economy mean it has uniquely large commodity requirements that substantially exceed domestic output. The recent boom in the price of everything from copper to coal has pushed the country's producer prices up by the most since 2008 and dragged on its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
With major economies in Europe and North America also cranking up again after coronavirus lockdowns, competition for raw materials is only expected to intensify, limiting the near-term downside for prices.
China imports roughly half of all key metals, a third of all shipped crops and nearly 20% of global oil shipments.
Some economists maintain that higher costs are transitory and will fade as supply chains recover from the health crisis, but others point to constrained global output, slow ramp-up times for new mining operations, and increasing demand as economies around the world pick up.
Wu Shiping, a Tianfeng Futures analyst, said prices of coking coal, a key steel-making ingredient, were high because of a supply shortage.
"For iron ore, shipments from major miners fell and the futures market is tracking spot prices," he said.
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