China Has a Garbage Bubble as Paper Prices Soar

Recyclable paper prices are soaring in China. A wild price rise has created "junk kings" in China who move piles of refuse instead of low-rated credit.

The iFeng link includes a video with some of the "junk kings" of Dalian. They talk about how some of the paper would be thrown out, but today they don't toss anything and sell it instead. Prices are moving multiple times in a single day as money rushes into the latest investment boom. The monthly income of one "junk king" has doubled from 5,000 yuan to more than 10,000 yuan.

The spark for this boom was a ban on the importation of foreign trash.

Reuters: China ban on waste imports leads to piles of paper abroad, surging prices in China
The city’s system for dealing with its paper waste has been failing since China in July imposed a ban on imports of 24 types of rubbish, as part of a campaign against “foreign garbage” and environmental pollution, including unsorted scrap paper.

As a result of the impasse, the manager of a major paper mill in southern China told Reuters the price of finished paper had doubled to 6,000 yuan ($902) per ton from 3,000 yuan as supplies of the raw material shrink.

That is hurting everyone from e-commerce sites to exporters.

Alibaba’s upcoming ”Singles’ Day online shopping festival on November 11, which posted more than 120 billion yuan ($18.1 billion) in sales last year, is heavily reliant on such packaging.
A drop in supply causes a rise in prices, but a boom is triggered by an increase in the supply of money and credit. The rally in junk is the downstream result of commodities market speculation that even government officials have blamed on excess credit.

iFeng: 废品价格大面积回升 从前的“破烂王”如今收入过万!
Li Youan Dalian scrap recycler: scrap prices are rising, including plastics, cardboard, all waste are rising. Mineral water bottle should be up over last year, rose about 30 percent. Is now selling about five to four four seven one kilogram of paper gains would be greater, under normal circumstances, paper, general paper in previous years, more than a thousand dollars a ton, this year is more than two thousand one ton of .

Scrap price hikes, so his business is extremely busy, reporters saw just a few minutes there are 56 individuals to sell scrap, but due to his busy again this year hired two people to help, but in order to increase the amount of recycling he is no longer just waiting for collection at home every afternoon, he took the initiative to the neighboring village to the acquisition of waste. In this way a month down the overall recovery of the amount, compared to the same period last year increased by about 20%, while in recent months, his monthly income has reached the million, compared to last year, an increase of nearly doubled.

It is understood that this year the overall recovery in scrap prices, domestic scrap prices in 1600 yuan / ton, up 14%, aluminum prices at around 10,500 yuan / ton, up 23%, paper prices rose the most, currently the Recycle Bin recovery of prices in the 2100 yuan / ton, up more than doubled. Prices rose sharply, driving the overall industry to pick up, "Polan Wang" re-active.
China's ban on "foreign garbage" is partly responsible, but the main culprit is the supply of money and credit racing around China's economy in search of a home as the iFeng article notes:
In fact, the fluctuation of recycling prices is inextricably linked to the entire commodity market, and its rise this year mainly due to upstream manufacturing, building materials industry increased demand, as well as major engineering and infrastructure investment to accelerate, in a rise in the price, gains in prices of waste paper can be described as ferocious.
There's only one piece of waste paper whose fundamental value is ferociously declining: the Chinese yuan.


Fixed Asset Investment Breakdown

Rising state investment climbed above 10 percent in September, in line with June and July growth rates.
Within private FAI, industrial investment declined year-on-year in September.

Private FAI Rose 3.9 pc in September

Private FAI increased 6.0 percent YTD in September and 3.9 percent year-on-year for the month of September.

Fixed Asset Investment Rises 6.2pc in September

Fixed asset investment rose 7.5 percent YTD through September; 6.2 percent year-on-year in September.

Real Estate Investment Ticks Up in September

Real estate investment increased 8.1 percent YTD through September and 9.2 percent year-on-year for the month.
NBS: 2017年1-9月份全国房地产开发投资和销售情况


Not the DeDollarization You Expected

Cryptocurrencies are in the middle of a classic bubble phase, but take a moment to digest this anecdote:
The South Korean government is preparing to tax Bitcoin use after the cryptocurrency’s trading volume largely increased past the country’s stock exchange Kosdaq. Han Seung-hee, the commissioner of the country’s National Tax Service, told lawmakers this weekend that the issue of how to best tax cryptocurrencies is being discussed, including the areas of capital gains tax, the VAT, and gift tax, Bitcoin.com reported.

South Korea’s lawmakers held a National Tax Service (NTS) hearing in Sejong last week on October 13th. The NTS Commissioner Han Seung-hee answered several questions about the taxation of cryptocurrencies.

Seung-hee was asked, “as the daily transaction value of virtual money grows beyond the Kosdaq, we must actively cope with the shift away from the conventional reservations. What is the taxation plan?” Business Post reported.
Korea Times: Bitcoin trades top tech-heavy on KOSDAQ

Chengdu Bans Unfinished Housing by End of 2022

Chengdu will no longer allow the sale of unfinished homes by 2020. Sale
Reporter learned from the Chengdu Municipal People's Government portal was informed that the General Office of the Chengdu Municipal People's Government on the 17th issued a "further accelerate the development of the city's finished housing development views" (hereinafter referred to as "the implementation of opinions"). "Implementation Opinions" pointed out that by the end of 2022, Chengdu, the newly started commercial housing and affordable housing finished residential area ratio will reach 100%, the full realization of Chengdu residential product structure from the water main to the finished house-based fundamental change. In addition, Chengdu will implement the finished house menu decoration, for the purchase of people to provide a variety of decoration style options.
iFeng: 这个城市5年后只卖成品房 毛坯房将成历史


China Isn't Improving, It's Inflating

Global economic indicators, total social financing and rising producer price inflation all point to inflation coming out of China.
Bloomberg: Don't Panic: China's Debt Crackdown May Actually Be Good for Bonds
China’s deleveraging drive will benefit the nation’s bonds as it starts to weigh on the economy and prompts looser monetary policy, according to Fidelity International Ltd.

Bloomberg: What Debt Crackdown? China's Banks Are Bingeing on Bonds
China’s banks are still bingeing on short-term financing, defying analyst predictions that they would wean themselves off such debt as regulators intensify a crackdown on leverage.

Sales of negotiable certificates of deposit -- a key funding source for medium and smaller banks -- surged 49 percent from a year ago in the third quarter to a record 5.4 trillion yuan ($819 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Bloomberg: Zhou's Leverage Warning Sends China Bond Yield to 2015 High
Yields on China’s 10-year sovereign notes spiked to the highest level since April 2015 on a closing basis, while a stock gauge of smaller companies slumped the most in three months, after the PBOC governor voiced his concern at the weekend that Chinese firms have taken on too much debt. The comments come amid a run of strong data, with better-than-expected producer price growth Monday underscoring the image of an economy still riding the wave of unsustainable leverage to achieve its growth targets.

“Investors, who have always been concerned with tighter financial regulations, are now especially sensitive to news that’s negative for bonds, such as improvement in the economy,” said Liu Dongliang, a senior analyst at China Merchants Bank Co. in Shenzhen.
China has to fund growth with credit. U.S. dollar credit has been tight since before 2008. The yuan saw devaluation pressure in 2008. It launched a massive stimulus that led to soaring home prices and a brief yuan devaluation in 2012, along with trillions of yuan in unprofitable investments. The attempt at a controlled slowdown led to the yuan devaluation in 2015 and global financial mini-panic in early 2016.

Without credit growth (or some major economic reforms), China's economy cannot grow at 6 percent. Since the developed world remains locked in slow growth with the global eurodollar system also growing slowly, a Chinese credit inflation necessitates "de-dollarization," inflating without concern for underlying foreign currency assets. If the growth is "good," value creation will outstrip credit creation. If the growth is "bad," China will be stuck with hundreds of billions, if not trillions of dollars more in debt with no dollar backing. The odds of a sudden and sharp yuan devaluation are rising.