Industry association indicates Chinese rare earths shipment to US may slow down

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/8 14:13:40


A representative from local enterprises look at the display case of rare-earth metals and oxides at the National Center of Quality Supervision and Inspection for Tungsten and Rare Earth Products (NCQSIFTREP) in Ganzhou, East China's Jiangxi Province on Friday. Photo: Li Hao/GT

The Association of China Rare Earth Industry is explicitly indicating the necessity for Chinese rare earth exporters to be more cautious after the Trump administration said it will impose more tariffs on Chinese imports last week. 

The association issued a statement after a special work  meeting held on Monday that rare-earth enterprises will study the "guidance" given by Chinese President Xi Jinping in May when he paid a visit to a major rare earth plant in East China's Jiangxi Province.

The association said that Chinese rare-earth enterprises would support China's counter strikes in the escalating trade war with the US, referring to US' wielding tariff club as "bullying," according to working minutes issued by the secretariat of the association on Wednesday. 

While the association seldom commented on the US-China trade war, the statement said that Chinese rare-earth companies should "grasp the special nature of rare earths" - a group of 17 prized elements broadly used in modern high-tech products from smartphones to high-precision missiles.  

Wu Chenhui, an independent rare-earth analyst, told the Global Times that the statement's mention of the special nature of rare earths might be a reminder that China's rare earth exporters shall "take a more cautious strategy".  

Chen Zhanheng, a deputy secretary-general of the association, revealed that Chinese rare-earth exports to the US dropped 11.3 percent year-on-year during the first half of 2019.

"But a 17 percent increase in refined rare earths which are difficult to be stored due to oxidation indicated some US importers are ramping up their purchase due to China's dominance in rare-earth refining," Chen said.

The rare-earth industry in China should ensure that the costs incurred by US punitive higher tariffs are paid by the US market and US buyers, the statement said.

US President Donald Trump said last week that he would impose further tariffs on another $300 billion of Chinese goods, covering 97 percent of Chinese exports to the US. However, the US previously avoided slapping tariffs on Chinese rare earths, for which it relies heavily.


blog comments powered by Disqus