President Xi Jinping’s visit to a rare earths facility fueled speculation that the strategic materials could be weaponized in China’s tit-for-tat with the U.S. on trade.
Shares in JL MAG Rare-Earth Co. surged by their daily limit Monday after state news agency Xinhua said the Chinese president had stopped by the company in Jiangxi. Official news outlets give regular updates on the whereabouts of top leaders, sometimes leading to share spikes on the belief that companies have been handed official backing.
But the visits may also flag policy priorities, and rare earths have featured in the escalating trade spat between the U.S. and China. The Asian country raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on American imports, while the U.S. excluded rare earths from its own list of prospective tariffs on roughly $300 billion worth of Chinese goods to be targeted in the next wave of measures.
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Update #1: Xi Sends Trump A Message: Rare-Earth Export Ban Is Coming (Zero Hedge)
Update #2: Xi’s visit boosts China’s critical rare-earth sector (Global Times)
Update #3: China Threatens To Cut Rare Earths Supplies To The U.S. — Bad Idea (Panos Mourdoukoutas, Forbes)
WNU Editor: Chinese state media are bluntly saying that this is an option that is open …. US need for rare earths an ace in Beijing’s hand (Hu Weijia Source, Global Times). More here …. US faces squeeze on rare earths (Global Times). Not surprising that some companies are now thinking of building rare-earth procession plants in the U.S. …. Australia’s Lynas plans new processing facility in the U.S. (Reuters).