Ten to twenty new cases of the COVID-19 virus are currently reported daily in China. As a result, the situation for the most important supplier of rare earths and rare earth products has eased faster than expected. Steel production, for example, is reportedly currently expected to reach 80 percent of pre-crisis levels. The entire economy of the country of 1.3 billion inhabitants is also recovering rapidly. There are no more restrictions on material transport. The fall in the price of oil is also fuelling the boom. Only a second wave of illness could yet dampen the rapid recovery.
The question of how much the Corona virus is damaging the markets of Europe, the USA and Japan is likely to become crucial in the coming weeks. Share prices there have fallen sharply in recent days, with shares of mining companies particularly hard hit. Metal prices, on the other hand, have fallen only moderately since the beginning of the year. Even now they do not crash, the price of Terbium even rises slightly. It is unclear whether this will continue to be the case in the coming weeks and months – if China produces goods but does not find customers. Rhenium, which is largely used for aircraft engines, is already showing a similar trend: the price of Rhenium has been falling noticeably for several days.