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China Daily Website

Largest rare earth producer halts for 3rd month

Updated: 2012-12-26 17:41
By Wang Zhuoqiong (

Baosteel, China's largest rare earth producer, announced on Tuesday that it had continued suspending smelting and separation work for the third month in an bid to counter recent falls in rare earth prices.

Zhang Rihui, secretary of the Board of Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech, which is responsible for nearly half of the world's light rare earth output, told media earlier that suspension of production is an effort to further stabilize rare earth prices amid a gloomy market where prices have kept falling since the third quarter of this year.

But industry analysts said the move is also in response to over-supply in the market. Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) Hi-Tech has achieved its annual production target for this year.

Prices of rare earths, which comprise 17 elements used in many important technological products including missile systems and hybrid cars, soared since 2009. But last year sharp falls started to occur in the price of some rare earth oxides.

Du Shuaibing, an analyst at Baichuan Information, which focuses on analyzing the raw materials market, said the price and demand of the limited resources are expected to grow next year thanks to the economic recovery.