VXL 0.00% 11.5¢ valence industries limited

China and graphite demand

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    I'm starting to think that the biggest obstacle to startup companies like VXL is the fear that graphite will go the way of rare earths. A few years ago all sorts of estimates were made about demand for non Chinese rare earths based on the need to diversify supply for the strategic resource. Now demand has expanded but China responded by consolidating rare earth supply, improving quality of mines and product and massively increasing supply, to Japan by 50% for example. And they have done this while driving prices down. Export value for rare earths have declined despite a 27% increase in export volume.
    Now the rare earths model is being applied to graphite, i.e. consolidation, improved quality, creating of industrial parks and exports ramped up at lower prices. As a result prices of medium to large flake have not met the expectation that they would rise, if anything they are falling. Chinese mines have a cost of production of around $150 a tonne, no one can compete with them. There is supposedly a demand for non Chinese supply but if the Chinese offer their products cheaply enough they will be the sellers.
 
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