Despite the expert groups recommendations and the United State’s efforts to increase minor metals reserves, some traders do not think supply for these rare metals will be any scarcer than for more common metals such as copper. [Steel and Copper ETFs In Demand.]
A notable driver of the shortage fears is the fact that the supply of these minor metals is concentrated in only a handful of countries, most notably China.
According to Xiao Yu of Bloomberg, China is continuing its plans to restrict minor metals shipments. China says the curbs reflect an effort to conserve resources and limit pollution. The World Trade Organization is now investigating whether China’s curbs on exports give Chinese manufacturers an unfair edge. [Why Copper ETFs Are Swooning.]
Whether China has an edge, it remains true that the demand for these minor metals will only grow as demand for electronics and technology applications grows.
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Sumin Kim contributed to this article.