The Bets are ON for Indium

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Ever heard of Indium? Me neither. Well, not entirely true, I had heard of it but never taken much interest. According to Wikipedia it is a soft white rare metal, similar to aluminum or gallium and produced as a by-product of zinc. And therein lies the problem. Indium is the magic ingredient in making LCD screens, demand for which is defying a downturn in western consumer markets and growing at 25-30% per annum. Indium was plentiful a year or so back as zinc production boomed and new mines were opened up. But with the collapse of the zinc price many mines have scaled back or even closed and with them so has the availability of Indium. In addition, the largest producer China (who else) is stockpiling material, further restricting availability and pushing up the price. At $ 650-700/ton Indium cannot be said to be expensive, and the small amount required in each LCD screen means at approximately $3/screen manufacturers can afford to pay a lot more for the metal without it seriously impacting the cost of production. So with rising demand, dwindling supply and a relatively cost blind consuming industry it is no surprise funds are springing up to invest in Indium stocks. Investors are looking for $ 1,000/ton this year and higher, seems like something of a one way bet.

–Stuart Burns

Comments (2)

  1. Loren says:

    One correction to the article, Indium sold for $1,000 per kilogram not per ton. 

    As for investing, nearly all miners are in China but there are ETF like programs such as edelmanne or investors can buy/sell physical metal with preciousmetalpurchase.  Not many other options.

  2. Loren says:

    One correction to the article, Indium sold for $1,000 per kilogram not per ton. 

    As for investing, nearly all miners are in China but there are ETF like programs such as edelmanne or investors can buy/sell physical metal with preciousmetalpurchase.  Not many other options.

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