Friday, June 27, 2008

Follow the money....

Haven`t had much time to blog, however, the old saying, follow the money seems to be holding true.
Whilst we in the West are facing recession, unemployment and war, the Chinese have increased their imports of iron ore by a little over 15% in Q1 of this year, and not only that, have agreed to an 80% rise in price.
The price of scrap metal is rising fast, as is the price of oil, and food.

Not because there are shortages, but because simply put, there are greedy "traders" who produce nothing except invoices.
Between the oil fields and the vehicles, between the farms and the homes, there are those who do nothing except buy and sell.
The bankers and brokers are not involved in transportation or packaging, nor in extraction, production or cultivation, they however are making more money than anyone else in the game.

Like a game of monopoly, where one player holds all the properties and utilities, the situation becomes a predictable, boring waste of time.

Our politicians do nothing, they bow, scrape, and tug their forelocks, and hope to be remembered when soliciting campaign funds.
Or they, and their compliant media acolytes tell us to beware of the terrorists, and the immigrants, and the moslems, and the young people, bogeyman politics in the most childish of senses.

Strangely enough, or not, the Chinese (and Russians)do not seem to be in such chaos as we with our "capitalist free-market".
Both nations have large budget surpluses, and seem to be using these reserves to affect the balance of industrial power, and with Russia now the number one producer of oil, in the greater game, the "Godless ones" are certainly ahead on points.

Here`s a short piece from China, Click on title for link to original.

Jun. 27, 2008 (China Knowledge) - In the first four months this year, China's iron ore imports increased by 15.1% year-on-year to 150 million tons, as importers were concerned about the probability of a further rise in prices in the near term.

The average price rose to a record high of US$129.5 per ton, up 80%. Value of total imports reached US$19.87 billion.

In the period, imports from Australia surged 10.3% to 56.18 million tons, while imports from India increased 19% to 38.23 million tons, and imports from Brazil surged 8.6% to 33.07 million tons. Australia, India and Brazil are the three largest exporters of iron ore to China, making up 83% of China's total imports.

Imports from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were up 110%, to 4.28 million tons.
Baosteel, China's largest iron and steel maker, said Monday it has agreed to a 96.5% price increase for imports from Australian mining group RioTinto.

Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton is looking for price increases higher than of its rival Rio Tinto, according to reports in South China Morning Post. The Chinese government and steel industry officials are considering a boycott of iron imports from BHP Billiton, in order to containing prices from rising too much.

Of course, if the Chinese are willing to pay, without quibble, near double in price for iron ore, then what hope for the other industrialised nations?
Ah well, interesting times!

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