China’s stranglehold on the world’s rare earth supply appears to be relaxing, with its largest producer of light rare earths forced to halt some of its operations for a month in an attempt to stop prices slipping further. The Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Company is suspending its smelting and separation plants …
...the world consumer-base is a bit TV-ed and MoFo-ed out for the moment. What with manufacturers having largely failed to convince us that 3D et.al are worth the upgrade.
Is this the sound of...
... export policies backfiring?
assuming that the figures havent been massaged and hidden 11.9M is hardly ground breaking profit though.
That's the point, profits are DOWN 90% to 11.9M
That's why this company is so upset.
yet it still made
11.9m in profit!
Greed is alive an well
I thought the Reg's
rare earth correspondent/barrow boy was that Worstall chap.
What's he got to say on the matter? No one else counts.
Re: I thought the Reg's
He now works for Forbes, or did.
Re: I thought the Reg's
Fuck me. I need a taller computer screen....
And here is the barrow boy
What's really interesting about this is that there are several large firms in this space. Bautou being the largest but not the only large one.
The government has been muttering for some time about a "rationalisation" of production. Meaning that some will need to stop producing in order to keep prices high.
It's very strange that you would stop Baotou in such circumstances though. As the REs are a byproduct of their other operations (the hint is in the name, Baotou Iron and Steel). You would rather expect one of the other large producers to be slowed or shut down. For they only produce the REs and thus, at least presumably, would have higher production costs.
But then the whisper is that one of the other major firms that isn't being shut down is largely owned by the family of the bloke who is about to become Supreme Ruler. At which point it all starts to make sense.
We really should stop calling China a "Communist Sate", they're more Capitalist than Communist. The way they treat their workers in mass factories and the concentration of wealth within an "upper class" is reminiscent of Britain during it's industrial revolution.
Which, if you think about it, is pretty much what China is experiencing. Just hope they don't start to copy Britain's Imperialistic tendencies as well...
Not the only source
The thing with minerals is, they can sometimes be had more easily out of used kit than out of the ground. Especially now we have recycling programmes in place for electronic equipment.
Let's hope China haven't bet the farm on demand for rare-earth minerals increasing forever, considering the way the West got burned expecting the same thing to happen with house prices.
Re: Not the only source
This is definitely true of some of the REs. I'll actually come around and help if you're scrapping an MRI machine. Luvverly girt big lutetium oxide crystal in there there is.
However, for most uses, we use them in a very dispersed manner. We'd need to recover 4 million light bulbs to get back a kg of scandium iodide (or europium, yttrium etc iodides).
Just depends upon the product.
agreed in july and 3 months on, I am sure WTO people are so very busy jetting from one capital to another barely have time for those truffle foie gras lunches. I am sure companies can last another 5 years while waiting on their judgement. well done admitting china to the wto