China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear

China will definitely initiate an economic stimulus package to get its economy back on track and recover from the slowdown which has resulted from efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus, Paul Robinson, director of CRU, told delegates at the PDAC in Toronto, Canada.
China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear China stimulus a certainty but focus still unclear

Paul Harris in Toronto

"There will be stimulus from China, but where will it be directed and how effective will it be?" he said.

Robinson said in addition to travel restrictions, many people, including the few dozen people who work for CRU in China, were in self-imposed isolation and not mixing with other people. "That means they are not buying cars or going shopping or going on holiday," he said.

Stimulus could either focus on getting people consuming again or if not, on less sustainable infrastructure programmes. The effectiveness of what it chooses to do could mean the difference between the country recording a 1% reduction in GDP this year or a 0.6% reduction.

"Can China persuade its citizens to start buying consumer goods again?" he asked.

Robinson said the ripple effect through international supply chains, and by extension, to minerals and metals supply, would very much depend on the commodity.

"Palladium is hot and we forecast 15% price growth this year. At the other extreme lithium and sulphur are forecast to have 15% price contraction," he said.

Cobalt, gold and silver are forecast to experience 5-15% price growth this year, with copper and nickel at 0-5% price growth.

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