China to cut rare earth exports by 10 per cent in 2011 - Macleans.ca
 

China to cut rare earth exports by 10 per cent in 2011

Beijing controls 97 per cent of global supply of high-tech metals


 

China announced Wednesday that it will cut exports of rare earth minerals by 10 per cent in 2011. The country controls 97 per cent of the world supply of metals such as scandium and yttrium, which are essential for making LCD TVs, PC monitors, smart phones, wind turbines and hybrid cars. Two Australian mining companies that own the biggest supplies of rare earths outside China saw their shares rise 11 per cent each on the news. The U.S., which mined no rare earths last year said last week that it is “very concerned” about Chinese restraints and it may file a case at the World Trade Organization. In September, China frightened some Japanese high-tech manufacturers like Sony when it blocked all rare earth shipments after a fight over disputed territory. China says it is restricting exports because of growing demand at home and environmental concerns related to exploration and production.

BBC News


 
Filed under:

China to cut rare earth exports by 10 per cent in 2011

  1. China started this purchasing of rare earth metals 20 years ago.

    The Chinese think long-term and plan ahead.

    The US only thinks in terms of the next quarter.

    • China doesn't purchase rare earth metals. China produces them.

      • It does both.

        Had you thought of looking this up?

        • Emily, China controls 97% of the world's production. That's why the export cuts are having such an effect. It has nothing to do with "starting to purchase rare earth metals 20 years ago", and it has everything to do with controlling production.

          • As I said, looking this up would be beneficial for you.

            Rare earth minerals are mined. Mines are buyable. He who owns the mines controls production. China began doing this 20 years ago.

  2. So call it rarer earth metals,and start harvesting in locations that weren't as economically viable until now. When China realizes they made a dumb mistake, they'll need to play catch-up.

    • We are playing catch-up, not the Chinese.

      • As the name implies, rare earth elements are rare. You can't simply just find a deposit anywhere. The Chinese have a near-monopoly because they have a large deposit and undercut all the competition in the 90s (horray capitalism). There is a mine in northern Saskatchewan that apparently will begin mining again next year, but it is dwarfed by the Chinese operation (they expect to supply 10% of the North American market). If prices go high enough, you can bet that prospectors will be out looking for them, but it would take years for a found deposit to become a mine.

        • The Chinese have a near-monopoly because they have a large deposit and undercut all the competition in the 90s (ho[o]ray capitalism).

          Well, yes. When the Chinese leadership wanted to be halfway sane, capitalism worked wonders: the most efficient supplier got the business. Now that such is not the case, we must find the material elsewhere, and-or discover more readily available alternatives. Price will go up, which will spur enterprises to seek and efficiently develop this attractive supply chain.

          You can't simply just find a deposit anywhere. It just became viable to start looking.

          But when the morons in Beijing realize they have shot themselves in the foot, they'll start selling again.

          • Your comment 'when the morons in Beijing realize they have shot themselves in the foot' makes no sense at all.

            They aren't 'buying and selling' rare earth metals, they're using them.

          • Huh? When the brilliant minds in Beijing feel the price has gone up enough, they'll start selling again. Yes, there will be newly-found competition. But the newly-found competition will have greater expenses than China, and so just a little undercutting will go a long way. And when the undercutting has gotten to the point where it is no longer economically feasible for these competitiors, Beijing will soon cut exports again and we'll begin the cycle anew.

            This is how China will have its cake and eat it too. Instead of throwing its assets away to private corporations and eventually having nothing to show for it.

          • When the brilliant minds in Beijing feel the price has gone up enough, they'll start selling again.

            ***

            Yeah, it's unlikley to hurt China very much. There's far more risk to non-Chinese investors trying to find these new deposits and come up with new ideas to process them better, knowing that if they succeed enough China can just put them out business by putting more onto the market.

        • Great day in the markets – Molycorp, Neo-materials, Avalon, Great West up, up, up! The Chinese sure did a number by stockpiling then flooding the market – pretty well put all the others out of business.

          • But they aren't 'flooding the market', they are hoarding.

  3. If the rare earth deposits were in the U.S. you can rest assured they would not sell one ounce unless there domestic needs were met and a huge profit could be made. Guess what rare earth deposits are in Afghanistan as well and the Americans want them desperately. American strategic resource war.

  4. B.O.H.I.C.A.