Fast-forward a year and the government is finally getting what it wanted. Producers like Chalco are making money again. Operations are running at full capacity, with managers even eying expansions. All good for employment.
The question now is: will metals buying by the Chinese state drop off? With the mission accomplished, can Beijing afford to relax in the metals markets?
And what effect would this have on prices? Speculators and buyers from around the world have stepped into the metals markets over the past year, taking some of the pressure off Beijing to be the "buyer of last resort".
If the Chinese government does back off, it will be up to these players to support the market. We'll see how deep their pockets are.
By. Dave Forest
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