After booming in the early 2000s, world commodities prices first fell with the financial crash of 2008. This trend hurt the economies of Africa’s mineral mining country’s badly, but it got worse. For years, the outlook for commodities was depressed, as growth and trade volumes stagnated. Today, the future for mining in Africa looks much brighter than before.
With many Western economies recovering and the Chinese economy showing healthy growth figures, the market situation for many minerals in African countries are looking better.
Like cobalt, lithium has surged in price and importance due to its use in batteries that are essential for electric vehicles. This is good news for Zimbabwe, African Business Magazine reports. The country “is currently the world’s fifth largest producer of lithium, but it is hoped that new finds can help it to grab market share.”
The extensive report by African Business Magazine sheds light on global supply and demand issues of several minerals. It points out that demand in China is crucial for Africa’s mining activities. “While China seems set to grow at a relatively healthy 6.5%, continued “risk controls”, as Citi Research notes, could take it below 6%. That possibility, notes the American lender, could seriously dampen prices for some of the continent’s most valuable commodities. Zinc, copper, steel, iron ore and coking coal would all be vulnerable in the event of a Chinese slowdown.”
Further reading: africanbusinessmagazine.com