China strengthens management of rare earth exports

The Chinese government released a message on November 7 indicating that China will strengthen the export management of rare earths. Exporters will be required to report on the types of rare earths and export destinations, among other things. In view of the United States to strengthen China’s semiconductor export controls, China’s domestic calls for countermeasures.

China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) issued a notice on the same day, adding rare earths, which were previously subject to export licensing, to the Catalogue of Energy Resources Products Subject to Export Reporting. This is equivalent to adding rare earths to the list of products subject to export trade management. This includes rare earth compounds and alloys.

The implementation period of the measures will be two years ending October 31, 2025. Chinese media reported that the move was aimed at strengthening export controls on rare earths.

Rare earths are considered indispensable for pure electric vehicles (EVs) and weapons such as missiles. China accounts for 70% of global production. The U.S. is the world’s second largest producer of rare earths after China in terms of mine development. However, there are deficiencies in the smelting process, and it is currently required to export raw materials to China, process them, and then import them.

China sharply reduced exports to Japan and other countries in 2010 amid tensions. Europe, the United States and Japan filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization in 2012. In 2014, it was found to be in violation of the agreement, and China was forced to cancel export quotas.