Asia-Pacific’s mineral exporters face bumpy ride amid China’s ‘sputtering demand’, property woes – by Biman Mukherji (South China Morning Post – February 6, 2024)

China’s property woes following the liquidation of embattled developer Evergrande have raised concerns of slower demand for raw materials from the world’s leading metal producer and weigh on suppliers across the Asia-Pacific.

China accounts for more than half of the world’s minerals demand for metals production, and the property sector and infrastructure are two of the largest segments fuelling demand for products like steel, copper and aluminium.

“The real estate industry will probably take some time to recover. Consumer confidence is relatively low and the demand for housing will not re-bounce soon. Thus, the import demand for mineral commodities related to construction is likely to be reduced,” said Rose Xiaowei Luo, a professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at graduate business school INSEAD in France.

That does not bode well for Asian countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, who are key exporters of commodities like iron ore, bauxite and nickel to China.

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