FT: Xi Highlights China’s Dominance of Rare Earths Market

May. 24, 2019

China’s president visits a rare earth magnet maker, kicking off speculation that it may restrict exports to U.S.

Earlier this week Adamas Intelligence spoke with the FT about Xi Jinping’s recent visit to a rare earth magnet plant in China and what it means in the context of the U.S.-China trade war.

Among the points emphasized:

  • The optics are as they appear. The fact it’s a magnet plant is not a coincidence. It’s signalling that China knows magnets are not only important to U.S. high-tech industries — electric vehicles, wind — but also defense.
  • The visit is absolutely a suggestive move and the timing of it puts the U.S. between a rock and a hard place because companies outside China, such as MP Materials, that are starting alternative rare earths processing facilities would struggle to independently meet U.S. demand in the near-term.

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