China's Massive Commodities Appetite

China has passed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest energy consumer.  This is no trite statistic.  China is the world’s top consumer of energy, metals and grains.

China’s appetite has been fueled not by consumer demand, as seen in America, but from energy-intense heavy industry and infrastructure building.  There seems to be no slowing down in the building sector for the foreseeable future.

China’s share of total world copper consumption has risen dramatically as well, reaching 40 percent, from about 22 percent in 2005, making China the world’s largest copper-consuming country.

Copper is not the only commodity where China is now the dominant consumer. Chinese consumption of aluminum has now outpaced the United States.  And… China now accounts for 60 percent of global iron ore consumption and 52 percent of coking coal demand.  As for oil, China is the world’s second-largest oil consumer, America being number one in that category.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s second biggest crude exporter, now ships more crude oil to China than to the United States.

If China should suddenly stumble economically…the world economy will falter creating panic in the world’s financial markets.   If China’s economy should overheat… commodity prices will move even higher and that means higher gas prices and higher consumer costs across the board, stalling an already anemic U.S. recovery.

China is a clear and present danger that threatens America’s economic supremacy.  Another sign that America is truly a “sunset” power.

Steven LeBlanc

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