China's Metal Monopoly Won't Last

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"Rare-earth metals are the global economy's equivalent of folkloric pixies—tiny, elusive and vaguely considered to have all manner of miraculous powers. Are we at risk of an 'element gap' with China? Unlikely."

Bloomberg, Tobin Harshaw

Rare-earth metals are the global economy's equivalent of folkloric pixies—tiny, elusive and vaguely considered to have all manner of miraculous powers. In fact, many rare earths are not all that rare: neodymium, which among other things is used in audio amplifiers, electric motors and wind turbines, is as common and widely spread around the globe as nickel and copper.

Enter the threat: China, with half the world's deposits of rare earths, is now responsible for 95% of global output. The accompanying chart, based on data released by Morgan Stanley Research on July 26, shows how production quotas and export limits instituted by Beijing in recent years have distorted markets in so-called rare-earths oxides. . .View full article

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