Huw Roberts, Director of CHR Metals told people at the CRU North American Aluminium Trends conference that the next phase of China’s development will not be as intensive as the past 10 years.

While it has dominated developments in global growth and the base metals market in the past decade Mr Roberts feels the structure of the growth is not sustainable and that this has not been recognised by the authorities.

He described China’s infrastructure plan, announced at the height of the recent recession as a way of boosting China’s economy, as a road to nowhere.

The government spent billions on roads, railway projects, public buildings and other ambitious infrastructure projects which have nearly all been completed. However, they are not being used.

Whole apartment blocks remain empty while roads and trains are unused. It has been a waste of money, said Mr Roberts, and the money would be better used on building hospitals or training the next generation of doctors or teachers.

China’s economic model must move from dependence o exports and investment to domestic consumption and greater social development, such as environment, health and education.