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Chinese Demand Inflating Commodity Prices Worldwide - Reuters [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-20-04 04:04 PM
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Chinese Demand Inflating Commodity Prices Worldwide - Reuters
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China's seemingly bottomless demand for resources is pushing many - and not just within the country - to put in overtime.

Currencies of resource-rich Latin America are soaring. The world's largest diversified miner, BHP Billiton Ltd/Plc (BHP.AX: Quote, Profile, Research) (BLT.L: Quote, Profile, Research) , reported on Thursday December quarter profits more than doubled on rampant demand from China and sharply higher prices. Copper is at eight-year highs. And much of that is due to China: the newly minted superpower of world commodity markets."


Within China, a steady stream of metals and oil and foodstuffs is producing a log-jam at ports because importers cannot secure enough trucks or space on railways. Imports of raw materials such as steel and oil surged by $60 billion in 2003, underpinning the cost of everything and shoring up the accounts of resource-rich countries.


China is already the world's top consumer of steel. Ditto for copper, for which it has to import half its annual needs. It buys three-fifths of its iron from overseas. The world's number two oil user imports a third of its oil consumption. That had been driven largely by the construction, auto and consumer goods sectors as Chinese got richer and Beijing pursued such multi-billion-dollar projects as building a west-east gas pipeline and a north-south water canal."

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