The First Round Of Chinese Rare-Earth Export-Quota Allocations For 2012

by Gareth Hatch on December 28, 2011 · 28 comments

in China, News Analysis, Rare Earths

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On December 27, 2011 the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced the first round of allocations of rare-earth export quotas for 2012, to individual companies operating in China. The total export quotas allocated during this first round come to 24,904 t of rare earths. Before we get into more specifics with the numbers, it is important to note that this announcement was unusual for three reasons:

  1. The Ministry issued separate quota allocations for light (LRE) and medium / heavy (M/HRE) rare earth products, and not just for rare earths as a whole. We've been anticipating this change for some time, based on industry chatter from within China, but 2012 marks the first time, to my knowledge, that these separate allocations have been rolled out;
  2. Also for the first time (again, to my knowledge), the Ministry clearly telegraphed the intended TOTAL export quota for the entire year, prior to making the usual follow up allocation announcement next summer; and
  3. The Ministry separated individual companies into two groups - the first group received confirmed quota allocations, while the second received only provisional allocations. Companies were placed into one of these groups based on their progress towards implementing new pollution control regulations, with the latter group only getting their allocated quotas if they meet the various requirements by July 2012. Companies who fail to meet the new requirements, will have their quotas re-allocated to other companies.

In the announcement from the Ministry, it was stated that the first round of quota allocations (totaling 24,904 t) will represent 80% of the quota allocations for 2012, which indicates that the total for the coming year will be 31,130 t of rare earths, slightly higher than last year. Here's how the two groups of allocations break down:

First set of allocations of Chinese rare-earth export quotas, for 2012.
Source: Chinese Ministry of Commerce
Allocation Type Allocation (tonnes)
LRE M/HRE Total
Confirmed 9,095 1,451 10,546
Provisional 12,605 1,753 14,358
Total 21,700 3,204 24,904

Let's now break this down further - first, here are the companies that received confirmed quota allocations, divided into sub-lists for Chinese and Chinese / non-Chinese joint-venture (JV) companies. The two sub-lists are sorted from highest-to-lowest total allocation:

First set of confirmed allocations of rare-earth export quotas, issued to
individual companies for 2012. Source: Chinese Ministry of Commerce
Exporting Company: Chinese-Owned Allocation (tonnes)
LRE M/HRE Total
China Minmetals Corporation* 1,267 199 1,466
China Nonferrous Import-Export Co. Jiangsu Branch 1,101 202 1,303
Sinosteel Corporation 1,010 145 1,155
Leshan Shenghe Rare Earth Technology Co. 917 112 1,029
Guangdong Rising Nonferrous Metals Group Co. 866 141 1,007
Grirem Advanced Materials Co. 716 135 851
Ganzhou Qiandong Rare Earth Group Co. 688 144 832
Jiangxi South Rare Earths Hi-Tech Co.* 593 68 661
Ganxian Hongjin Rare Earth Co.* 288 42 330
Exporting Company: Chinese / Non-Chinese JV Allocation (tonnes)
LRE M/HRE Total
Jiangyin Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Co. 899 154 1,053
Yixing Xinwei Leeshing Rare Earth Co. 750 109 859
Sub-Total: Chinese-Owned 7,446 1,188 8,634
Sub-Total: Chinese / Non-Chinese JVs 1,649 263 1,912
Total 9,095 1,451 10,546

* Part of China Minmetals Group, which was allocated a confirmed total of 2,457 t.

Next, are the companies that received quota allocations that are provisional on them meeting the new pollution-control standards, again divided into sub-lists for Chinese and Chinese / non-Chinese JV companies. The two sub-lists are sorted from highest-to-lowest total allocation:

First set of provisional allocations of rare-earth export quotas, issued to
individual companies for 2012. Source: Chinese Ministry of Commerce
Exporting Company: Chinese-Owned Allocation (tonnes)
LRE M/HRE Total
Gansu Rare Earth New Materials Co. 1,229 191 1,420
Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co.** 997 111 1,108
Baotou Huamei Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co.** 976 87 1,063
Yiyang Hongyuan Rare Earth Co. 820 125 945
Ganzhou Chenguang Rare Earth New Materials Co. 774 138 912
Inner Mongolia Baotou Hefa Rare Earth Co.** 792 84 876
Xuzhou Jinshi Pengyuan Rare Earth Materials Co. 702 150 852
Shandong Pengyu Industrial Co. 589 73 662
Funing Rare Earth Industry Co. 519 71 590
Jiangxi Rare Earth & Rare Metals Tungsten Group Co. 404 65 469
Guangdong Zhujiang Rare Earth Co. 124 27 151
Jiangsu Geo Quin Nano Rare Earth Co. 122 16 138
Changshu Shengchang Rare Earth Smelting Co. 94 12 106
Exporting Company: Chinese / Non-Chinese JV Allocation (tonnes)
LRE M/HRE Total
Baotou Rhodia Rare Earth Co. 1,531 194 1,725
Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Co. 1,131 142 1,273
Liyang Rhodia Rare Earth New Materials Co. 667 137 804
Huhhot Rongxin New Metal Smelting Co. 425 44 469
Baotou Tianjiao Seimi Rare Earth Polishing Powder Co.** 375 28 403
Baotou Santoku Battery Materials Co. 292 53 345
Pingyuan Sanxie Rare Earth Smelting Co. 42 5 47
Sub-Total: Chinese-Owned 8,142 1,150 9,292
Sub-Total: Chinese / Non-Chinese JVs 4,463 603 5,066
Total 12,605 1,753 14,358

** Part of Baogang Group, which was allocated a provisional total of 3,450 t.

Finally, here is a comparison of the quota allocations for the past three years (compare to the projected total of 31,130 t of quota for 2012):

Export quotas for the Chinese rare-earth industry
Source: Chinese Ministry of Commerce
2009 2010 2011
Sub-group H1 (t) H2 (t) H1 (t) H2 (t) H1 (t) H2 (t)
Chinese-owned 15,043 18,257 16,304 6,208 10,762 12,221
Chinese / Non-Chinese JV 6,685 10,160 5,978 1,768 3,746 3,517
Sub-Total 21,728 28,417 22,282 7,976 14,508 15,738
TOTAL 50,145 30,258 30,246

It can be seen that a significant majority of the Chinese / non-Chinese JV companies were placed into the provisional category, including both of the rare-earth enterprises operated by Rhodia (Baotou Rhodia Rare Earth Company and Liyang Rhodia Rare Earth New Materials Company) and one of the enterprises operated by Neo Material Technologies (Zibo Jiahua Advanced Material Resources Company).

As usual, in addition to the numbers, the Ministry also published its algorithm for assigning specific quotas to individual companies, out of the total allowed. This year, it was based on both the total volume (50%) and the total value (50%) of exported rare-earth sales for each company, in the last three years, compared to the industry as a whole.

Also as usual, a significant section of the media (both mainstream and industry-specific) got this story all wrong, incorrectly focusing on the difference between total quotas allocated and announced at the end of 2010 for 2011 (14,508 t), and the confirmed quota allocations noted above (10,546 t). The valid comparison has to be between whole-year allocations. We probably need to stop thinking about these quota allocations as being specific to six months of a given year only. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce has specified the details for 80% of 2012's quota, and has indicated the total value of the quotas as a whole. We can expect an announcement in the summer of 2012 giving the details of which companies were allocated the remaining 20% of quotas, and whether or not the companies allocated provisional quotas, received them, or if instead they were reallocated to other companies, and which those companies might be.

There are still some unknowns about the recent quota announcement, which will be important to clarify in the near term. We need to see if any additional rare-earth product types have been added to the list that are counted for quota purposes. I'm also keen to confirm that the term "light rare earth" in the context of this announcement, refer to products based on lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, praseodymium and samarium, with the term "medium / heavy rare earth" referring to the rest.

A comment on the allocation of confirmed vs. provisional quotas: unlike a number of industry conspiracy theorists out there, I do not believe that the exclusion of the Baogang Group of companies (and others) from the confirmed quota category, until they complete efforts to clean up their environmental act, is some sort of smoke screen or ruse. Neither do I believe that any aspect (with perhaps one exception) of the announcement, was some sort of response to the approaching on-streaming of Mount Weld in Australia and Mountain Pass in the USA. It seems clear to me, based on discussions with industry insiders, that China continues to march to the beat of its own drum, and while potential new sources of supply from outside of China are of course on the radar in China, they do not drive internal policy.

That said, I will say that it seems curious to me, given the collapse in actual rare-earth exports from China in 2011 compared to the quotas allocated, that the total quotas planned for 2012 are actually higher than for 2011. We know that the significant price increases for these materials were the key factor in the demand destruction (temporarily or otherwise) seen in 2011 (with lanthanum- and cerium-based products seeing the largest declines in demand). It is possible that the authorities in China see prices falling much further than the recent decreases that we've seen, to such low levels that the demand for exports will return to 2009 / 2010 levels, which would "fill out" the 2012 quota allocations.

The questions in my mind then, are these: is the higher-than-2011 total quota level for 2012 simply an action taken passively in the face of anticipated price decreases (partially due to anticipated competition from Mount Weld and Mountain Pass towards the end of 2012)? Or is it in fact an indication that the authorities intend to actually step in and to intervene - forcing prices lower than their current levels, in a bid to get exports back up to the 30-31,000 tpa level? The answer remains to be seen...

One final note: although it is highly unusual for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to make the allocation of quotas provisional on meeting certain regulations, it is actually not unprecedented. Last year, 62 t of quota were provisionally allocated to one company, Pingyuan Sanxie Rare Earth Smelting Company, on the proviso that its recent (at the time) infrastructure improvements were inspected and approved by a local regulatory agency in March 2011. The provisional nature of this quota allocation is the reason why you might see slightly different total quotas allocation numbers for 2011 - mine, above, includes the 62 t - many others do not.

Updated May 17, 2012: be sure to check out the most recent updates to the export quotas here.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 John Harrison December 28, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Question to Gareth: How does the 2011 M/HRE allocation of 1,551 (confirmed) and 1,753 (provisional) = Total 3,304 compare with estimates of M/HRE actually sold in 2011. As a practical matter, will this quota actually cause a reduction of supply of M/HRE – given estimated 2012 demand – and if so, what effect should we expect to see regarding prices of dysprosium, terbium, etc. in 2012 given this quota structure?

2 Veritas Bob December 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

You wrote “We need to see if any additional rare-earth product types have been added to the list that are counted for quota purposes.”

Expansion of rare-earth product types counted in the quota occurred in 2011 (after H1 quota announcement and before H2 quota announcement), correct, and applied retroactively (?) for the entirety of 2011, and therefore 2011 quota was smaller on an apples to apples basis vs. 2010, even though the exact amount of effective reduction might be debatable?

3 Gareth Hatch December 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm

@John Harrison: it’s difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons because the actual exports tend to get reported in different categories. However, it is very likely that the amount of M/HRE-containing rare-earth products exported in 2011 was a lot, lot lower than 3,304 t, based on some of the monthly data I saw earlier in the year. I don’t believe that the 2012 quota allocations are likely to cause a reduction in supply of M/HRE-containing rare-earth products, nor do I believe that these allocations will cause price increases.

@Veritas Bob: you’re technically correct: ferroalloys containing HREs in particular, were affected by the change you mentioned, and yes, it would have had a slight effect on the equivalent numbers when compared to 2010 (though not as high as some sources would have us believe). However, given the fact that actual exports for 2011 will be substantially lower than the quotas that were allocated, I believe that in reality, the new additions had little-to-no effect on either pricing or availability.

4 Bob M December 29, 2011 at 12:28 am

Are the unfilled 2011 quotas carried forward to 2012, or are they lost forever?

5 Gareth Hatch December 29, 2011 at 12:30 am

@Bob M: to my knowledge, the quotas are not carried forward from year to the next.

6 D. Carlton Rossi December 29, 2011 at 12:49 am

It seems that it is not so much facts as analysis of facts that is the relevant factor. Your analysis is perceptive.

If there are so many companies on the provisional list then will this encourage companies on the confirmed list to produce more than their quota to a certain degree or create a short-term stockpile in hopes of taking up the slack of provisional companies which are unable to meet requirements of environmental regulations or would they simply ramp up production at that point if they could?

I’m unclear about something else, too. Does this mean that provisional companies can mine their minerals, but not sell them if they do not meet environmental regulations? This would also mean a medium to long-term stockpile is created for future sale, wouldn’t it?

It seems that there may be implications regarding price and availability in either case for the future.

7 David William December 29, 2011 at 1:05 am

Obviously there was a considerable sell off in MCP shares yesterday as a result of the quota announcement.The bigger question is how this will impact companies like Tasman, Avalon, Quest, etc. 18 months ago you could not swing a dead cat without hitting an analyst or newsletter writer trumpeting the rise of the these rare earth plays and the impending shortages of rare earth supplies. Now the field of commentators specifically touting these companies has withered.

Any comments about where these other companies are headed or how or to what extent they might be affected?

8 Sebastian December 29, 2011 at 11:34 am

The separation of REE quotas in LRE, MRE, and HRE must have a purpose, and that would be to keep domestic prices lower? During the rush this spring we saw quite little difference between domestic and international prices for HREEs, while the difference in LREE prices was several hundred percent. The aim must be to create oversupply in China also for HREEs just like it is for LREE today? Maybe it wont cause international prices to rise from todays levels in a near future, but probably if demand increases later.

9 John December 29, 2011 at 11:58 am

Excellent analysis.
Everyone is assuming that the list of companies that have their quotas pending environmental scrutiny will get their licenses approved, and if so, the quotas for 2012 would in fact be slightly higher than those of 2011. However, this seems to me to be a really far-fetched assumption.
Does anyone know if the companies listed in the “pending” list are also not allowed to sell Rare Earths on the Chinese domestic market, or is this prohibition exclusively for exports. This is critical to understand if the Chinese concern with the fulfillment of environmental regulaitons is a genuine concern or just an excuse to keep maintaing export restrictions.

10 Gareth Hatch December 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm

@ D. Carlton Rossi: great to hear from you! I think you make an interesting point – if we assume that at least some of the companies on the provisional list don’t pass muster for July 2011, then indeed, other companies may be all set to take advantage, and may produce additional materials ahead of time. On the other hand, the companies on the provisional list will have to focus on the domestic market (to which, to my knowledge, they will not be precluded from), which won’t be as profitable for them, so this is as much of an incentive as any, to get their collective acts together…

I suspect though that these guys are pretty capable of ramping up production as required, either way.

Note that the companies on these lists are to my knowledge either processors or traders, not mining companies (though I am not familiar with every single company, so I might be mistaken on this).

@David William: I can only really talk from the supply-chain perspective, and I would say that from that viewpoint, this week’s quota news will have little effect on the probability of commercialization for most non-Chinese projects out there – one way or another. Where things will start to get interesting is if / when the Chinese authorities further decouple the quota allocations for light vs. medium / heavy rare earths – this could have indirect effects on all of the companies currently developing rare-earth projects.

The effects of the quota on the sector have been consistently blown out of all proportion by the media. The key potential effect, for me, is on export pricing of rare earths – higher prices mean less demand (remember – 70-80% of export volumes in recent years have been for lanthanum- and cerium-based materials – materials that can and have been replaced in the face of high prices). We’ve already seen a correction in prices though, since the peaks of the summer of 2011.

@Sebastian: I believe a key reason for the separation into light and medium/heavy rare earths, is to give the authorities closer control over the disposition of the heavies, which by many (though NOT all) accounts, have associated deposits in China that are running out much faster than the light deposits. note that this differentiation already occurs for their production quotas.

The price difference between lights for domestic and export, compared to heavies, was far greater in percentage terms, only because the so-called export quota surcharge (value applied to each unit of quota) applied to these materials, was far greater than the underlying value of some of these materials. e.g. a $100 / kg surcharge on a kg of normally $5 / kg cerium oxide, has a more dramatic effect than, say, on normally $600 / kg europium oxide.

As I stated above, it seems strange to me that the quota levels for 2012 are not lower than for 2011, since the quotas were not filled, by quite some way. I can only surmise that the authorities anticipate prices to be a lot lower than in 2011 – either passively, or as a result of their intervention – perhaps prohibiting excessive quota-related surcharges – leading to greater demand.

@John: the authorities indicated that any quotas not confirmed for the companies currently on the provisional list, will be re-distributed to the currently confirmed companies. So either way, this week’s announcement leads to around 31,130 t of export quotas for 2012. To answer your other question, as I mentioned above there are no indications that the companies on the provisional list are prevented from selling into the domestic market.

I believe the Chinese have a perfectly valid concern with regard to enforcing new environmental standards, and are in fact doing so. Where I do have a problem, is with the coupling of such standards with the export market only, since this discriminates against non-Chinese customers.

11 Sebastian December 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm

There has been some talk on other forums about the allocations of quotas. For example it looks like a HREE producer can only export a small part of its production, while a LREE producer also has a HREE quota though they dont produce any significant amount of HREE. Can the quotas bee traded? What am I missing here?

12 Roger December 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Not adjusting the 2012 quota given the actual 2011 export numbers was a smart move if one objective was to remove vulnerability to criticism as has been heard in the US congress. Allowing exports in excess of demand does not appear to be squeezing the world consumption.
The numbers I have not seen, but believe to be the more important numbers, are the total tonnages of these elements exported in any form, subjected to export quota or not, at whatever height in the supply chain. Those are the numbers needed to assess the extent of global vulnerability to potential future Chinese resource unavailability. As it sounds that some manufacturing moved to China, is it possible that total export in 2011 actually exceeded that of 2009 ? that world dependence on Chinese supply has actually continued to increase ?

13 G H December 30, 2011 at 11:50 am

Gareth, thanks, great work as always.

Confirmation of lack of domestic sales limits is crucial, since if polluters are allowed unlimited domestic sales, attempts to use export quotas to “curb pollution” are exposed as at best a short-term measure, and more likely primarily a mercantilist ruse.

This is because by mid-2012, growing ex-China supply will begin lowering the export-over-domestic price differential, reducing export quota anti-pollution effectiveness. A sincere desire to curb pollution will require domestic sales limits (or some other mechanism).

14 fran December 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

would i be correct that china has sole visability on the macro country and likely individual company impact of these numbers?

are we ever to hear the impacts on japan, korea, germany, usa and their major industrial users?

15 Andy December 30, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Hi Gareth,

I am curious to the situation with the quotas that were issued and used this year. Over the past 11 months around 14-15,000 mt of quotas have been used of the allotted 30,000 mt. Is this from the larger price difference between domestic and foreign pricing particularly in the LREEs?

As there was a noticeable price decrease around the 3Q of this year, major Chinese rare earth producers i.e. Baotou Steel began to halt production for roughly a month. Lets assume the best case scenario for quotas that either all provisional companies are issued the quotas or that the government reallocates the quotas to end up with the declared figure of 30,000 mt. Is there the possibility that the government is able further restrict exports by halting production just like it has done during around the end of this year?

Looking back at most of the quota allocation for the last few years, most of them have been to domestic state-owned companies. Do you think this would be a plausible action that the government would take in order to stimulate a price increase?

16 John December 31, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Does anyone have informaiton (or web links) on the 2012 mining quotas for Rare Earths issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology or the Ministry of Land Resources?
Thanks

17 Moneir A. Abdel-Hamied January 2, 2012 at 7:27 am

We are, the Egyptian “Nuclear Materials Authority” looking foreword towards a collaboration / trade and industry deal for the recovery and purification of REEs from Egyptian black sand monazite. The recoverable source reaches to 1000000t.
If it possible; please inform me the way of dealing.
Thank you for your anticipation
Yours
Moneir

18 Don Lay January 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Moneir:
We looking at REE potential in mineral sands — please feel free to contact me — info at medallionresources.com
Don Lay.

19 Mike Niehuser January 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Gareth, thank you for the detail and answering questions, two more for you if possible.
1. Is there any connection with the rise in REE prices wtih the reduction in quotas in the 2H of 2010, and the recent deline with the relative increase in quotas in 2011 relative to the 2H of 2010?
(would this imply higher prices later in 2012?)
2. Do you have any opinion on 1H 2011 quota’s for HREE relative to prior semsters, increasing, decreasing or unchanged?

20 Gareth Hatch January 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

@Sebastian: quotas were allocated on the basis of previous revenues and volumes in recent years. In previous years, companies have traded quota allocations but whether they’ll be able to do that going forward, is not entirely clear.

@Roger: neither the official export statistics nor the quota allocations really take into account the volume of exports that take place unofficially / illegally. Some estimated put this additional “channel” for these materials at 10-15 ktpa.

@G H: I’ve said for some time that a comprehensive effort to curb pollution and to otherwise control environmental issues in this industry, will require reductions in overall production quotas, not export quotas. Presumably the recent division into confirmed and provisional allocations of quota is meant as a carrot from the commercial point of view, since exports have recently commanded higher prices. But I would agree that the effects here are going to be very short lived.

@fran: Is there really an impact? Something else that I’ve said before is that I believe that the only effect that the export quotas have had on exports is on the price of the material being exported. If you are an end user in Japan, Germany or wherever, you can get material, of any kind. It won’t necessarily come via officially sanctioned channels, and it might not have been mined recently, but I see no evidence of real supply constraints for these materials.

@Andy: there is significant evidence of substantial demand destruction in 2011 as a result of the elevated export prices. The story of rare-earth exports is really the story of lanthanum and cerium exports. We saw successful efforts by a number of end users to move away from usage of these materials.

As for halting production – there are likely to still be significant inventories of these materials warehoused in China and elsewhere. I therefore see little chance that any halt in production would lead to reduced exports of finished goods.

Within a year, we should have two new major sources of light rare earths on-stream. When that happens, any export quotas still being imposed by China for light rare earths, will have decreasing relevance to the supply chain.

@John: I’ve not seen any recent announcements on either rare-earth mining or production quotas.

@Mike Niehuser: I don’t think the rare-earth sector is any different to other commodities – as prices went up, demand decreased, especially for the light rare earths. Also, you have to look at quota allocations on a year-on-year basis – not comparing, for example H1 2011 with H2 2010. That’s not how the system works – allocations are made at the beginning of a given year, with “top ups” in the second half of the year; those first half quota allocations still pertain to the whole year. I don’t see high prices coming later in 2012, especially not for light rare earths.

As for HREE quotas compared to prior years – the quotas were not broken out that way before, so it’s not possible to do the comparison. You might see some clues in the way the production quotas have previously been allocated, since those have previously been allocated on a L / HREE basis.

21 Alex January 9, 2012 at 10:50 am

Yes, LREE will fall till chinese domestick price + export Tax (15%) + LREE quota cost
But one more effect will occur in this new system
Chinese HREE quota holders will want to export Dy, Eu, and Tb because of maximum prices, so price of quota of HREE will calculate them as incom which they can get from export of Dy, Tb, Eu.
So such materials as Gd, Y, Sm, Er will increasing in price because chinese HREE quota cost will add to their domestick price + export Tax.

22 Alberto January 14, 2012 at 6:23 am

Dear Gareth
Thank you for your excellent and very useful studies
I am owner of mining license in Mozambique with large areas of NYF pegmatites with a strong mineralization in Ti, Sc-ixiolite (Sc203> 9%); Ilmenorutilo (Sc), xenotime, fergusonite-Y; Zircon (Fe), columbite / Fersmite ; Cheralite (Ce, La, Nd), monazite, etc..

I would like to know, in general, what is the economic / strategic, importance of the peripheral elements of the Periodic Table, SC, Y.
Thank you,
Best regards,
Alberto

23 charlie January 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

Gareth,
i’ve ran across a couple of interesting articles pertaining to the REE Quotas in China and would like your take on the subject of how these Rare Earth Ribbons affect supply of REE’s

http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story.asp?storyid=%7B8ca5cc1c-a58c-4e4a-9d7d-4a995174f43f%7D&src=main

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?cid=1102&MainCatID=11&id=20120116000010

thanks,
charlie

24 Gareth Hatch January 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

@Alberto: yttrium is widely considered to be a critical metal, and has numerous important applications. Scandium has the potential for a number of end uses, but is produced in such low quantities that I don’t see it being of any significance in the immediate future.

@charlie: the export of alloys and other rare-earth-based compounds has taken place for years. There is really nothing new in those articles, and I find it a little strange that the implication is that companies making the ribbons / melt-spun materials, used for permanent magnets, are somehow trying to circumvent the system. The same goes with strip-cast alloys that Japanese companies have produced in China, for use in their permanent magnets.

25 charlie January 18, 2012 at 9:06 am

Gareth,
thanks for your reply. i was confusing these materials as being a possible smuggling issue due to the underlying implications that was suggested in the articles, thanks for the clarification.
but with this new understanding some questions i would like to pose however is that along with the articles i posted and several other that i’ve read going back to earlier last year, there is a constant drumbeat of China restricting these alloys that contain Rare Earths and imposing a quota system for these materials also.
do you foresee this as a possiblity?
and if so what would be the implications for the end users of these alloys, and the effect that supply constraints of these materials would have on the overall Rare Earth market?
is there any other supply stream for these alloys outside of China?
and if not would this not mean that China still holds most all the REE cards even with the other Rare Earths producers coming online such as Molycorp, Lynas and others?

thanks,
chalie

26 Veritas Bob January 30, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Comments? Will rare earth export quotas now be relaxed?
“China loses appeal in WTO export restrictions case”
http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/wire-news/china-loses-appealwto-export-restrictions-case_659374.html

27 Mike Niehuser February 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Sort of off topic but recently a lot of press about China doubling quotas, is there anything to this? Thanks as always.

28 Stéphane Maroni March 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

Is there a clear distribution between LRE and M/HRE offered by Chinese authorities ?
Thanks, Stéphane

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