Harold A Taylor,
INDIUM ADVOCATE NEWS
Issue No. 1 December 2000
Welcome to the first issue of the website Indium Advocate News (IAN). IAN will appear on a frequent but irregular basis and has been designed to quickly update busy executives and their professional staff on indium-related developments, usually with a reference to where the item appeared so that more information can be obtained if needed. IAN will almost never have long items, and will usually total under one page in length. The most recent detailed comprehensive reference to the production, sources, markets and end uses of indium is the Financial Times Executive Commodity Report on Indium written by IAN's editor and publisher, Harold A. Taylor, Jr.
World production of indium increased from 189 tonnes in 1998 to 217 tonnes in 1999, mostly because of increases by Chinese sources. This increase was enough to erode indium prices throughout 1999, even with active demand in Asia (Japan, Korea) for flat panel display items (Mining Annual Review 2000 article by Harrower).
Indium (metal) prices to date will be examined in the Jan-Feb 2001 period (probably next issue) when the USGS has come out with preliminary 2000 data, making it possible to get a better fix on late 2000 and a more accurate 2001 outlook.
Outlook for indium, 2001: While consumption of indium appears to have been expanding rapidly in much of 2000, particularly in flat panel screens, the presently-unknown numbers for the latter part of 2000 may not have been nearly as rosy. After dropping twice in late 1999, prices held steady well into 2000. Sales of internet-related items, such as handheld computers, lap-top computers, and cellular phones, did not meet expectations, cratering many of the NASDAQ stocks of the firms producing them; certainly an ominous development. At this time, the U.S. economy appears to be weakening, particularly in the areas that use indium like LCDs and flat-panel screens. Things will appear to be a little clearer when partial 2000 data is provided by the USGS in one or two months, to be summarized here in a later issue.