SHANGHAI, China Chinese
private investors have helped the minor metals market at a time
when most overseas buyers have stayed on the sidelines,
delegates told AMM sister publication Metal
Bulletin at a recent industry conference.
"When I made purchasing
decisions in the past, all I needed to do was some calculation
based on my projections of demand and supply," one delegate
said in Changsha, China. "There were so few players in the game
that it was relatively simple. Now the unpredictable investors
make decision-making more difficult, and I think people need to
adjust to the new reality quickly."
Attracted by low prices during a
period of sluggish demand, many private investors outside of
the minor metals industry have entered the market.
"Private capital needs to find
an outlet," a second delegate said. "The housing and stock
markets stand no chance, given their dismal performances,
whereas minor metals could offer a promising long-term return."
Exchange-traded minor metals contacts have provided a good
channel for the funds to reach the market.
"Indium sales have seen a
downturn since the adoption of export tariffs, but exchanges
like Yunnan, Fanya and the Wuxi stainless steel market offered
a good way to connect private investors with producers," an
indium trader from China said.
50 tonnes of indium were
delivered to the Wuxi exchange under the August contract, a
"The 200 tonnes of indium bought
since this March (have) seen prices rise above 3,700 yuan, and
tellurium may also be given a similar boost," the indium trader
"One private buyer intended to
buy several tens of tonnes this week, but I told him to wait.
Those who only buy a few tonnes of indium or tellurium are only
small-time in comparison," he said.
The Metal Bulletin Chinese tellurium price rose to
820 to 850 yuan ($130 to $134) per kilogram Friday, compared
with 800 to 830 yuan last Wednesday.