Smartphone fear as China holds precious metals key
The biggest threat to businesses isn't the eurozone crisis or the onset of a new credit crunch – it's the short supply of the precious metals needed to make everything from smartphones to plasma TVs to wind turbines.
The demand for key industrial ingredients is rising so rapidly, as emerging markets prosper and the number of electronic consumer goods available mushrooms, that two-thirds of senior executives at UK manufacturers say securing areliable supply of raw materials is their number one concern.
Tungsten, platinum and cobalt are among the "rare earth" metals in short supply. China has a stranglehold on the 17 such metals, producing about 95 per cent of global supply. In recent months, it has reduced exports of the metals to safeguard them for itself, helping to send prices soaring.
"It came as a surprise to us that concern about raw materials is as high as it is, but in the context of the spiralling costs and tightening supplies fromChina on certain products it does make sense, said Susanne Baker, senior climate and environment policy adviser at the manufacturers' organisation EEF.
"We believe that the Government should introduce a resource strategy to see how best those materials in scarce supply can be re-used," Ms Baker added.
- 1 School playground evacuated over 'unusually aggressive' grey squirrel
- 2 Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
- 3 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 4 Today was a bad day for renters, landlords, and democracy
At least 100 dead after Islamists launch attack on Nigerian mosque
Hollywood actor Mickey Rourke beats opponent 33 years his junior in exhibition boxing match
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Russell Brand: 'Katy Perry? I don’t know who that is'
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
iJobs Money & Business
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: EAST ANGLIA - SENIOR SOLICITOR LEVEL ROLE** -...
£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious asset management house seeks a...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: This is a varied role focusing on the firm's mutua...
£90000 - £140000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...