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Asia-Pacific’s mineral exporters face bumpy ride amid China’s ‘sputtering demand’, property woes

“The real estate industry will probably take some time to recover. Consumer confidence is relatively low and the demand for housing will not re-bounce soon. Thus, the import demand for mineral commodities related to construction is likely to be reduced,” said Rose Xiaowei Luo, a professor of entrepreneurship and family enterprise at graduate business school INSEAD in France.

International rating agency Moody’s said the decision on Evergrande has increased the possibility of more cases of liquidation of distressed developers, which is likely to affect purchases by homebuyers.

Jon Mills, equity analyst at Sydney-based Morningstar, said the hardest impact of China’s property turmoil on commodities is likely to be on iron-ore, the key ingredient for making steel, because of the country’s dominance. China accounts for around 70 per cent of the global demand for seaborne iron ore trade.

According to the World Steel Association, China produced more than 1 billion metric tonnes of steel last year, unchanged from 2022. Its output was around seven times more than second-ranked India’s 140 million tonnes.


China restricts critical metal exports following Western semiconductor curbs in latest trade war

China’s property market slowdown has not affected iron ore demand immediately, and it is likely to be felt more in the longer term, Mills said.

“While Indian steel production is likely to rise materially over the next decade, it is still likely to be far below Chinese steel production, even if the latter starts to fall as China’s economy transitions to one that is more consumption-based.” India also has domestic reserves of iron ore, which will reduce its need to import, Mills added.

Rising steel production, however, is likely to “see