The international demand for rare earth metals from China has increased in the first quarter of 2013. The demand has gone up due to falling prices, despite the fact that the domestic producers and processors reported losses. The General Administration of Customs’ statistics reveal that rare earth exports increased to 55 percent in the month of March 2013, to 1,718 metric tonnes in comparison to that of February 2013.
During the first three months of this year, the export volume increased by 47.3 percent to 3,916 tonnes, but in the same period the export value came down 71 percent to $91.9 million. Chen Zhanheng, the Deputy General secretary of China’s Rare Earth Industry Association, said that the growth in export volume stems from a decline in price in the year 2011.
Chen went on to say that there were no signs of a quick rebound from the falling demand at home as well as abroad. The general secretary added that the market is expected to grow as production is being regulated and the prices continue to fall.
Rare earth comprises of 17 metallic elements, which are used in many technological products, including missile systems. The market in China supplies more than 90 percent of this material in the world.