Rare-earth giant’s new international trade unit eyes deeper industry integration
Published: Jul 03, 2022 10:27 AM Updated: Jul 03, 2022 10:24 AM
rare earth Photo:VCG
rare earth Photo:VCG

China's rare-earth conglomerate recently set up an international trade branch, in a move that experts say will promote industrial integration and protect strategic resource amid fierce competition among countries in the digital era.

The newly-established rare-earth giant China Rare Earth Group Co announced on Friday that it has established an international trade company in an important move to accelerate the deep integration of trade assets within the group in a bid to promote industrial coordination and business efficiency.

The company will focus on boosting trade and operation integration within the group, strengthen deep cooperation in the rare-earth sector, so as to develop into a world-class trading firm, according to a statement on the group's WeChat account.

According to Chinese business information platform Tianyancha, the trade company was set up in Ganzhou, East China's Jiangxi Province, with registered capital at 1 billion yuan ($149 million). It is 100 percent controlled by China Rare Earth Group Co.

"The establishment of an international trade branch signals further integration of the rare-earth industry, which will be conducive to the strict import and export management of the strategic material," Wu Chenhui, an independent rare-earth industry analyst, told the Global Times on Sunday.

With improved management of the further concentrated industry, China will have more competitiveness and stronger pricing power in the international market, according to Wu.

China Rare Earth Group Co was formally set up in December 2021 through the merger of several key producers of the important mineral resources, involving China Minmetals Corp, Aluminum Corp of China and Ganzhou Rare Earth Group Co.

When the industrial conglomerate was established, it announced its focus would center on technological research and development, exploration, downstream application and rare-earth trade.

In sign of sound and sustainable development of the domestic rare-earth industrial and supply chains, the move will avoid the blind outflow of the valuable resources in the digital era, Wang Guoqing, research director at Beijing Lange Steel Information Research Center, told the Global Times.

Rare earths, dubbed "industrial gold," are a group of 17 chemical elements used in a wide range of products from high-tech consumer electronics to military equipment.

China leads the world's rare-earth sector in terms of production and refining technologies. According to the US Geological Survey, China's rare-earth reserves led the world in 2020 at 44 million tons, accounting of around 37 percent of global reserves. The country accounted for around 60 percent of rare-earth production worldwide in 2020.

According to data from the General Administration of Customs, China exported 21,970 tons of rare-earth minerals in the first five months of 2022, up 10.9 percent on a yearly basis.