Where are the consumers?
Eurozone chaos and signs that German manufacturing is slowing may accelerate any falls in rare earth prices as the withdraw from the market by consumers caused by recent hikes in Chinese prices become more extreme.
Reports abound of an absence of buyers and lacklustre export markets. In the face of such uncertainty in the direction of prices and the global economy the natural behaviour of consumers is to withdraw from the market and buy on a hand-to-mouth basis. Restricting supply and continuing to make unrealistic offer prices into a market with little liquidity will have little impact until real and sustained demand returns.
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