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Rare earths: responding to China’s monopoly

  • January 2014
  • 19 pages
  • MarketLine
Report ID: 2188839


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Rare earth metals are vital raw materials in many high-tech applications. China currently supplies more than 85% of all rare earths used globally, but is beginning to restrict supply. This will raise prices for importing countries, while China will be able to use its domestic supply in higher-value manufacturing. This report looks at China’s rare earth strategy, and the world's response.

Features and benefits

* Discover why rare earths are vital for high-tech manufacturing
* Find out how China exploited its large rare earth mineral reserves to achieve global dominance of their supply
* Learn about the ways other countries are responding.


Rare earth metals are a group of chemical elements that are vital in applications such as strong, miniature magnets, display screens, and catalysis. They currently have few effective substitutes.
China holds 48% of the world’s currently-known reserves, but from the mid-1980s has risen to the position of monopoly supplier, accounting for 95% of all rare earth production in 2011.
There has been a flurry of exploration activity, which is likely to see Canada, the US, and other countries becoming more significant rare earth producers over the next decade.

Your key questions answered

* What are rare earths and why are they important?
* What is China's share of the global rare earth market?
* How have rare earth prices been affected by China's industrial and trade policies?
* Will China retain its dominance, or will counter-strategies by other countries be effective?

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