China plans rare earth reserve mechanism to curb prices image

China, the world’s largest exporter of rare earths, is considering a national inventory reserve in a bid to stabilize prices for the 17 metals.

Li Shanle, an official connected with the Bureau of Industry and Information Technology in Jiangxi province, said the implementation of the rare earths value-added tax invoice is a crucial step to control the rare earth minerals sector’s output as well as restrain illegal sales and smuggling activities.

A rare earth trading platform will also be established on the basis of the mechanism for open trading by enterprises.
The report quoted unidentified sources as saying that a detailed project plan will be formed after further communication with rare earth enterprises.

Domestic demand for rare earths tumbled last year after Beijing tightened controls over production and mining and many separation plants closed down after customers retreated from the sky-high prices.
China currently has an iron grip on the REE industry, supplying over 95 percent of the world’s needs.
This is significant because REEs are used in hundreds of high tech applications, including cellular telephones, laptop computers, iPods, critical military applications, green vehicles, and green technologies.

The EU imports 350m euros ($458m) of rare earth minerals from China each year.