Rare Earths Smuggling Still Prevalent in China; Yttria Falls by 7.7%

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It seems that nothing is getting better in China for rare earths. “Illegal mining, pollution and smuggling remain rife in China’s rare earth industry despite a two-year campaign to straighten out the sector, a government official said in remarks published on Thursday,” reports Reuters.

“China, which produces more than 90 percent of the world’s rare earth elements, has been trying to impose order on the industry, seeking to consolidate output in the hands of big state-owned miners and imposing strict production and export quotas on a small number of authorised firms.”

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“The 17 rare earth elements are used in a wide range of applications in sectors like renewable energy, telecommunications and defense.”

“The United States, Europe and Japan have complained to the World Trade Organisation that the restrictions give Chinese firms in key high-tech sectors an unfair competitive edge, but Beijing says big producing regions like Inner Mongolia should not have to suffer environmental damage in order to supply large volumes of rare earths for the global market.”

In metal price news for rare earths…

After falling 7.7 percent, yttria landed, making it the week’s biggest mover on the weekly Rare Earths MMI®. Cerium oxide finished the week after falling 4.0 percent. Rare earth carbonate dropped 3.8 percent over the past week.

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After a 2.6 percent decline, samarium oxide closed out the week. Praseodymium oxide prices were off slightly, down from a week ago. Praseodymium oxide fell 0.9 percent over the past week. Dysprosium oxide remained essentially flat from the previous week.

Lanthanum oxide remained unchanged for the week. Following a steady week, prices for neodymium closed flat. Neodymium oxide prices held steady from the previous week. The price of praseodymium neodymium oxide did not change since the previous week.

Terbium metal prices held steady from the previous week. The price of terbium oxide did not change since the previous week. The week finished with no movement for yttrium.

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