The three economic leaders U.S., the European Union and Japan won't be pleased. After imposing curbs of its rare earths exports, China is set to launch effective August 8 a physical trading platform for rare earths, in a bid to strengthen its hold, if not totally manipulate, the global prices of the essential minerals.
Manufacturers, users and researchers of rare earth elements from around the world have combined forces to create a Rare Earth Technology Alliance (RETA), and among its first plan of action is to map out an education and outreach strategy to enable its members cope with the supply shortages currently enveloping users of rare earths.
The platform, which will be placed in Baotou city in China's northern region of Inner Mongolia, will be spearheaded by the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co., China's largest rare earths producer by output, the company said in its newsletter. Baotou will be joined by 10 major Chinese rare earths producers. The identities of the other rare earths miners were not identified.
Inner Mongolia holds nearly half of the world's light rare earths output.
The establishment of the platform comes as China's latest attempt to gain and set more control over the global pricing of key industrial commodities. In May this year alone, it inaugurated a physical-trading platform for iron ore. Initial plans and ideas to set up an oil trading platform to rival benchmark crude prices in New York and London are likewise being thought about.
Last week, Chinese media confirmed the world's second-largest economy and stronghold of rare earths has already started stockpiling its rare earths, taking advantage of the weak prices. this was still apart from the rare earths industry association recently set up.
The curbs, the platform, the stockpiles and the association are all meant to enable China have greater influence in the price determination of the essential minerals.
China feeds more than 95 per cent of the world's demand for rare earths.
The country is currently embroiled in a heated debacle with the U.S., the European Union and Japan over its rare earths exports restrictions, which have now been escalated before the World Trade Organization.
China has issued 21,226 metric tonnes of rare earths quotas so far this year. It said it plans to maintain the full-year quota parallel with last year's 30,184 metric tonnes.
However, only 62 per cent of last year's quota was used up due to weak demand.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top 10 Hottest Celebrities with Shocking Weight Loss (And Find Out Their Secrets!) [PHOTOS]
- Mars Curiosity Rover Photos: UFO Hunter Spots Strange 'Ruins,' 'Missile' [PHOTOS, VIDEO]
- Miranda Kerr Exposes Breasts to Crew, Wardrobe Malfunction 'Deliberate Accident?' [PHOTOS]
- How Brad Pitt Avoids Sex Even in Film Scenes After Finding Love in Angelina Jolie [PHOTOS]