Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bad News, Bulls: "Chinese Raw Materials Curbs Break Rules: WTO" and "Rare-Earth Prices Decline Within China " (AVL, MCP; REE)

So how's that WTO accession treatin' ya now?
From Bloomberg:

Chinese restrictions on exports of nine raw materials violate global rules and give the country’s manufacturers an unfair edge, a World Trade Organization panel said, backing a complaint by the U.S., the European Union and Mexico.

Today’s ruling comes more than 18 months after WTO judges agreed to investigate whether Chinese quotas, export duties and license requirements on overseas shipments of industrial ingredients including coke, zinc and bauxite are discriminatory. The restrictions have stoked tensions between China and its trading partners, which often accuse the Chinese government of having unfair commerce and currency policies....

...Rare Earths
Today’s ruling may prompt the U.S. and the EU to make good on threats to complain at the WTO over Chinese restraints on exports of rare earths, a group of 17 elements used in wind turbines, hybrid cars and defense applications such as guided missiles....MORE 
Molycorp, Rare Earth Elements and Avalon are all down 2-5% although some of that may be due to a misunderstanding of the recently reported Japanese finds.
More importantly, from the Wall Street Journal:
SYDNEY—Prices within China for some rare-earth metals posted their first monthly drop this year, ahead of a decision by Beijing on its global export quota for the metals.

Domestic prices of some of the elements were down at the start of this month as much as 7.2% from a month earlier, Australian miner Lynas Corp. said. The decline suggested that a rush to acquire the metals—a group of 17 elements used in applications such as high-performance magnets and LED phosphors, and in products including iPads and Prius cars—may have eased in recent weeks....MORE