My short side radar is starting to glow. The perfect play for the Chinese would be to maintain a very tight supply to Japan and the West until MCP, Lynas and REE go into production and then crash the market....On Feb. 21 Molycorp announced:
Molycorp To Launch Sequential Start-Up of New, State-of-the-Art Rare Earth Manufacturing Facility This WeekHere's today's totally coincidental story, via Bloomberg:
China May Double Rare Earth Exports as Demand Rises on Price
China, the biggest supplier of rare earths, may almost double exports this year and meet quotas set by the government as lower prices stimulate demand.See also:
Chinese exports were 49 percent of the government-alloted quota in the first 11 months of last year because the slowing global economy sapped demand, the Ministry of Commerce said in a Dec. 27 statement. Overseas sales quotas may be virtually unchanged this year at 31,130 metric tons, based on Bloomberg calculations.
“Export quotas may be met this year as overseas demand recovers,” Wang Caifeng, a former official overseeing the rare- earth industry with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, said in an interview in Beijing. “High prices last year had deterred purchases and led to inventories’ depletion. Smuggling also hampered exports through illegal channels.”
Rare-earths prices have tumbled since the third quarter as consumers, including makers of electric cars and wind turbines, reduced use. The average price of lanthanum oxide, a rare earth used in rechargeable batteries and refining catalysts, was 129,167 yuan ($20,508) a ton in the fourth quarter, 15 percent less than in the third quarter, according to data from Shanghai Steelhome Information.
Rare-Earth Shares Fall
Molycorp Inc. (MCP), the owner of the largest rare-earth deposit outside of China, fell 2.4 percent to $26.17 at 11:53 a.m. in New York.
Lynas Corp., developer of the world’s largest rare-earths refinery, fell 4.7 percent to A$1.23 in Sydney....MORE
May 6, 2011
Goldman Sachs: China to Benefit From Rare Earth Prices until Oversupply in 2013 (MCP; REE; AVL)
July 9, 2011
People's Daily says China has legal, moral right to curb rare earth exports"
Nov. 1, 2011
Possible Rare Earth Metal Price Plunge Coming (MCP; REE; AVL