Chart of the week: China’s trade war trump card
China is by far the dominant supplier of rare earth metals - a group of 17 elements used in applications ranging from military and industrial lasers to energy-saving light fittings – accounting for 71% of the entire global supply.
Rare earth metals are not as scarce as the name might suggest. However, China is by far the dominant supplier to the US, accounting for about 80% of American imports (and 71% of the entire global supply of mined rare earth minerals). The metals a group of 17 elements such as neodymium and yttrium are used in applications ranging from military and industrial lasers to energy-saving light fittings.
Speculation that China might restrict access to rare earths as a negotiating tool in its trade war with the US increased last week after President Xi Jinping visited a rare-earth facility in Jiangxi. As a result, the share prices of many rare-earth producers (including China Rare Earth Holdings, featured here) have enjoyed a spike higher.
Jim Armitage, Evening Standard