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China's rare earth market in short supply

By Qiang Xiaoji (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2011-03-16 17:41
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Due to the significantly increased rare earth prices and rare earth ore enterprises' tight controls on supply and prices, China's domestic rare earth market is in short supply, Shanghai Securities News reported Wednesday.

Several deep-processing manufacturers told the newspaper that if steady supply channels hadn't been established earlier, it would be very difficult to purchase rare earth raw materials in the current market, even with the ongoing price increases.

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Rare earth prices have been increasing for years, and some materials' prices jumped over 70 percent since the beginning of this year. One industry executive said he expects this trend to continue.

According to industry insiders, Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co Ltd is yet to dip into its export quota. Many predict that its second quarter exports will generate handsome profit.

The booming rare earth industry has also attracted a group of enterprises trying to grasp a share, the newspaper said. Aluminum Corp of China signed a cooperation framework agreement on March 12 with Guangxi Nonferrous Metals Group and Grirem Advanced Materials Co. Together they will establish a venture developing rare earth resources in South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.