China’s rare earth exports plunge for eight months in Nov, narrowing from previous drops

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/7 13:24:46

Rare earth. Photo: VCG

China's rare earth exports plunged for the eighth consecutive month in November, to 2,611.1 tons, according to customs data released on Monday. 

According to China's General Administration of Customs, China's total exports of rare earths fell by 26.7 percent year-on-year in the January-November period. In the first 11 months of 2020, its total exports amounted to 31,280 tons. 

China is the world's biggest supplier of rare earth materials; the metals used in products such as military hardware and electric vehicles, but its rare earths exports have plunged over the past eight months.

The decline has demonstrated China's attempts to move away from selling large-scale, low-value resources, and China may have been implementing measures that could potentially restrict exports of rare earths, analysts said. From December 1, the Export Control Law also took effect, creating new regulations that give the government tighter control over exports like technology and rare earths.

Although the actual impact of the new law on China's exports is yet to become clear, it has already sent ripples through certain industries, such as inflating rare-earth prices, as the market reads the new measure as a sign that China will restrict rare-earth exports to the US. Traditionally, the US has been reliant upon importing rare earths, used to produce weapons like tanks and missiles, from China.

Under narrowing exports and tightening regulations, November also saw the prices of Chinese-sourced rare earths surge. According to media reports, prices of the rare-earth elements used in magnets saw especially large surges, including neodymium, dysprosium and terbium.

Global Times


blog comments powered by Disqus