Chinese selenium traders may not be able to see profits in the minor metal’s trading but they sure haven’t lost the knack to make money.

Many are attracted by the cosmetics and home furnishing industry – selling face masks, pigments, bedding and home décor – where margins are substantial.

“Selenium trading is not as exciting as it used to be. You are not really losing money but that's not enough to sustain a business,” a trader told Hotline.

“The cost structure in selenium is transparent but that’s not the case with the beauty industry,” he added.

The staff at one trader deliver products to customers in a Porsche, Hotline understands.

“I have joined a friend in the bedding business. My major was textiles related,” another trader said.

“The days of huge profits for selenium traders are gone. More producers are selling directly to end users,” according to an analyst.

“No matter how stable selenium is for now, I must diversify. Some good brands of baijiu are on promotional sales on business to consumer websites, and are sold by the dozen. For the pigment sector, I can cross sell to my existing customer base,” a third imaginative trader told hotline.

Once a trader, always a trader.