China: Rare Earths Imports from Myanmar Rise Sharply

by | 21. Jul 2023 - 09:19 | Economy

China is importing more rare earths from Myanmar again, Reuters reports. About 70 percent more of this commodity group was sourced from the neighboring country in the first half of this year than in the second half of 2022, and as much as nine times more than in the first half of 2022. The latter is unsurprising, as key commodity transshipment hubs had ceased operations due to the pandemic and only gradually became available for transport again from May (we reported). Also in 2021, China’s zero-covid policy led to an import ban on materials from Myanmar. From the neighboring country, China mainly imports heavy rare earths such as dysprosium or terbium, which are then further processed or exported. The Middle Kingdom is not only the most important exporter of these critical raw materials but since 2018 also the largest importer, as other countries, such as the U.S., lack the necessary processing capacity despite their own production.

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