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Is opacity-induced minor metal market volatility a threat to promising green technologies?A study of the tellurium market
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economics.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Tellurium is one of the rarest metals in the earth’s crust. Increased demand for cadmium telluride photovoltaic cells along with an opaque pricing and quantity reporting system, have recently caused high price volatility and a speculative bubble in the tellurium market, resulting in overstocking and depressed prices. In a longer perspective this may be a threat to cadmium telluride photovoltaics as a power-generating technology. This master thesis compares how actors may perceive news innovation in the opaque tellurium market compared to the more transparent molybdenum market. A quantitative analysis of industry news reporting on the two metals, combined with a SVAR impulse response analysis, helps me determine which actors and factors exert most influence on spot market prices. In the opaque tellurium market, relatively unreliable proxies of supply and demand are most frequent in the news reporting while having a big impact on prices, whereas the transparent molybdenum market uses more reliable variables –such as futures prices –and transparent supply information, whilst also relying on a frequent stream of dependable proxies to scope market sentiments. My findings lead me to recommend policy makers to implement measures to increase market transparency, which may be accomplished by extending the data-sharing regime of the REACH database to minor metal markets. Attempting to limit speculation in minor metal markets is perhaps too blunt a tool to fix an inherent problem of a free exchang-pricing mechanism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Tellurium, Minor Metal, Market Volatility, Market Transparency, Molybdenum, Market Efficiency, REACH, SVAR, Quantitative Analysis, London Metal Exchange
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-203617OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-203617DiVA: diva2:637091
Available from: 2013-07-16 Created: 2013-07-16 Last updated: 2013-07-16Bibliographically approved

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