Is China Restricting Exports of Rare Earths?

by | 8. Jun 2022 - 11:49 | Market, Economy

Market researchers expect challenges in the supply of critical raw materials.

Could rising domestic demand for rare earths lead China to restrict exports of these raw materials? Ryan Castilloux, founder of the market research group Adamas Intelligence, believes this is a distinct possibility, reports the trade magazine The Northern Miner. Castilloux expects neodymium-praseodymium oxide (NdPr) supply difficulties by 2035. He said there are no new sources, but there is increased demand for the magnetic material, which is needed to make electric vehicles, among other things. Given this situation, China is likely to give priority to supplying its own industry, leaving foreign countries out in the cold.

Castilloux has been warning for some time that the global industry’s supplies of neodymium, praseodymium and dysprosium are nearing their end and that a shortage is foreseeable by the end of the decade. While the seriousness of the situation has been recognized in North America and steps have been taken to build up self-supply, Europe continues to rely on supply from China.

Foto: iStock/tcly