Important transhipment centers for rare earths in the border region with Myanmar are closed. Processing plants in China are operating at reduced capacity.
The export of rare earths from Myanmar to China has come to a standstill again, at least in part, reports the Global Times. Citing informed circles, the newspaper writes that inland ports in the border region, which are important for handling goods, are out of operation. Only one port in the region had recently reopened after being closed for months due to measures against the spread of the Corona pandemic, it said.
Already last year, exports of strategic raw materials were interrupted for months (we reported). It is unclear when the ports will resume service, but the effects are already being felt in China, the Global Times adds. For example, rare earth processing plants are currently operating well below their normal capacity. This will also have an impact on the world market, an analyst is quoted as saying.
The situation is also aggravated by the fact that China is currently unable to ship materials for mining the raw materials to the neighboring country. Even after the reopening of the ports, delays in mining could then make the supply of raw materials more difficult.
It is estimated that half of the heavy rare earths that are processed in China now come from Myanmar.
Photo: iStock/Oleksii Liskonih