Amid the ongoing trade war with the US, consultations between China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and rare earth industry executives have laid the groundwork for limiting rare-earth element (REE) exports.
During a Monday press conference, the Chinese NDRC said it was developing new state policies on rare earth metals, and intends to make them public as soon as possible.
According to Deutsche Bank, the key conclusion from the recent meetings is that Chinese authorities are preparing to limit shipments of rare-earth permanent magnets in addition to rare-earth elements, thereby closing off what was termed an "escape route" by the Global Times. Beijing’s veiled threats to restrict exports of rare earth metals to the US have been called by many as one of China's nuclear options in a trade conflict with Washington. The US relies on China for about 80 percent of its rare earths supplies. The metals are used in everything from electric car motors and electronics to oil refining.