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Metal Miner

Metal Miner

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China’s Rare Earth Export Ban Is Backfiring

  • The rare earths market experiences significant fluctuations, with prices plunging due to weaker demand and shifts away from Chinese sources, compounded by export bans imposed by China.
  • Wyoming's rare earth discovery raises hopes of reducing reliance on Chinese supply, potentially leading to a mining boom in the U.S. and altering global market dynamics.
  • Conflicting opinions among analysts regarding rare earth price trends in 2024 highlight uncertainties stemming from geopolitical unrest and economic volatility, emphasizing the need for caution in forecasting.
Rare Earth

Via Metal Miner

The Rare Earths MMI (Monthly Metals Index) experienced a pretty significant drop month-on-month, falling 24.73%. Save for cerium oxide, all components of the index either fell or moved sideways. Weaker than anticipated downstream demand ended up hitting certain metals related to rare earth magnets particularly hard, causing a plummet in the index.

Another significant factor impacting rare earths prices stems from nations continuing to source rare earths outside of China. Experts anticipate that such changes in rare earths production and logistics will continue affecting the index in both the short and long term.

Could the Wyoming Discovery Rock China’s Rare Earth Dominance?

China’s dominance of the global rare earths market continues to face challenges, and the new discovery of rare earths in Wyoming could intensify a global shift away from Chinese sources. Numerous nations are now undertaking initiatives to lessen their reliance on Chinese rare earth magnets. According to a recent Reuters article,

Related: Artificial Intelligence Could Trigger a Natural Gas Boom in Europe China has historically been the world’s top producer of rare earths, commanding a substantial share of the global market. However, worries over China’s hegemony continue to compel countries like the U.S. to look into alternate rare earth suppliers.

An article by Yahoo Finance explored the recent Wyoming rare earths find in-depth, highlighting how the new source of rare earth magnets might upend other markets and offer the U.S. a significant advantage. Furthermore, Wyoming Public Media emphasized the possibility of a new mining boom in the Mountain West due to these significant rare earth discoveries.

Is China’s Rare Earth Magnets Bans Working for Them or Against Them?

China’s recent move to ban the export of some rare earth elements and rare earth technology continues to have important ramifications both in and outside of the country. Many experts speculate that China instituted the ban to preserve its worldwide hegemony over rare earths. However, has China ultimately benefited or suffered from this decision?

Related: 2 Ways to Play Europe’s $800 Billion Energy Crisis

China’s export prohibition allows China to preserve its competitive edge in this vital market by limiting the export of essential technology used to process and produce rare earth magnets. By preserving access to these vital resources, China can support its efforts to protect its national security interests.

On the other hand, China could suffer due to these export limitations, which can strain trade agreements and political ties with other countries. Export restrictions on rare earth technology may result in trade conflicts and other difficulties with nations that depend on these elements for various industrial applications.

Mixed Reports About Rare Earth Price Directions in 2024

Thus far, opinions differ on whether the price of rare earths will increase or decrease in 2024. Analysts generally anticipate a resurgence in the second half of the year, which indicates a favorable outlook. Moreover, trends and market research pointing to possible expansion and recovery in the rare earths industry validate this confidence.


On the other hand, opposing viewpoints advise being cautious when projecting the price of rare earths in 2024. Unknowns like geopolitical unrest and economic volatility can still affect rare earth prices, just like any other commodity. When determining the possibility of price swings in the rare earths market, it’s crucial to take into account such factors.

By the Metal Miner Team

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