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First Warning Sign in Global Commodity Boom Flashes in China

  • Economic expansion and credit impulse may have already peaked
  • Some prices still have to room to rise due to lagging effects
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Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg
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One pillar of this year’s blistering commodities rally -- Chinese demand -- may be teetering.

Beijing aced its economic recovery from the pandemic largely via an expansion in credit and a state-aided construction boom that sucked in raw materials from across the planet. Already the world’s biggest consumer, China spent $150 billion on crude oil, iron ore and copper ore alone in the first four months of 2021. Resurgent demand and rising prices mean that’s $36 billion more than the same period last year.