Rare Earths - China (scroll down for Rare Earths prices)

Information for Investors on Chinese news potentially impacting the Rare Earths sector.

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China Northern Rare Earth lowers Apr listed prices of light rare earth

SHANGHAI, Apr 11 (SMM) – State-owned mining company China Northern Rare Earth (Group) lowered listed prices of light rare earth products for April, including praseodymium-neodymium oxide and praseodymium-neodymium metal, by over 7% from March, according to a notice on the company's website on Thursday April 11. This came after lower VATs and sufficient supplies weighed on prices of light rare earthin China’s spot market. The adjustment lowered the listed price of praseodymium-neodymium oxide to 293,700 yuan/mt, down 7.2% on the month, and that of praseodymium-neodymium metal to 370,000 yuan/mt, down 7.5% from March. Listed prices of neodymium oxide also dropped 7.2%, to stand at 295,700 yuan/mt for April, and that of neodymium metal lost 7.5%, to 370,000 yuan/mt. Prices of lanthanum oxide and cerium oxide remained flat from March, standing at 13,500 yuan/mt for April. 

Lower VATs, sufficient supplies lower prices of light rare earth  

SHANGHAI, Apr 4 (SMM) – Sufficient supplies and lower value-added taxes (VATs) from April 1 lowered prices of light rare earth products in the week to Thursday April 4. As of April 4, prices of lanthanum oxide and cerium oxide lost some 300 yuan/mt wee on week, to stand at 12,200-12,700 yuan/mt, SMM assessed. Prices of praseodymium-neodymium oxide fell to 276,000-280,000 yuan/mt as of Thursday, compared with 285,000-290,000 yuan/mt on Friday March 29. Downstream consumers demanded lower offers as they expected VAT cuts to reduce costs of light rare earth. Prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth, however, held steady amid supply shortage woes, which may linger in the short run. SMM expects further downside room in prices of light rare earth products next week.



China to cut value-added tax on Apr 1

SHANGHAI, Mar 15 (SMM) – China will cut value-added tax (VAT) on April 1 and lower social security fees on May 1, said Premier Li Keqiang in a news conference after the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) on Friday March 15. He said China needs further tax cuts and other strong measures to cope with downward pressure on the economy. On Tuesday March 5, Premier Li Keqiang said in his government work report that China will cut the VAT for the manufacturing sector by 3 percentage points to 13%. The VAT for transport and construction will also be cut from 10% to 9%. 

Report: Tongwei Solar to build world's 1st 10GW battery base by year-end 

SHANGHAI, Mar 26 (SMM) – China's PV manufacturer Tongwei Solar started to construct its phase-four crystalline silicon battery project, with a capacity of 3.8GW, at its Chengdu base in Sichuan province on Saturday March 23, according to a news release on the company's website. With an investment of over 2 billion yuan, the project is scheduled to commission within this year, bringing the Chengdu base into the world's first 10GW battery base. The project features unmanned production lines, intelligent factories, and digital workshops, equipped with warehouse logistics facilities. By the end of this year, the total capacity of Tongwei Solar, including its Chengdu and Hefei bases will exceed 20GW.

Rare earth oxide prices rise for a month on concerns of import ban on Myanmar ore

SHANGHAI, Mar 20 (SMM) – Concerns about a lower supply of seaborne rare earth ore and domestic smaller quotas for production continued to bolster prices of medium-to-heavy rare earth from mid-February till Tuesday March 19. As of March 19, prices of dysprosium oxide increased by nearly 13% from a month ago, to stand at 1.36-1.4 million yuan/mt, SMM assessed, Prices of terbium oxide rose almost 4% month on month, to 3.05-3.1 million yuan/mt as of March 19. From May, Myanmar's rare earth ore will again be banned from entering China, after China's Yunnan Tengchong Customs in November of last year restricted imports of commodities from Myanmar.Customs data showed that domestic imports of mixed rare earth carbonate in January were below half of the imports in January 2018. A decline of 67% in the imports of Myanmar’s products accounted for the overall loss. Worries that tighter supply of ore may affect domestic production of medium-to-heavy rare earth accounted for enquiries from downstream consumers in the spot market, and this encouraged sellers to firm up offers, SMM learned. On Friday March 15, China issued output quotas for rare earth minerals for the first half of 2019 at lower levels than a year ago, and this also grew market concerns about smaller supplies. 

First batch of rare earth quotas in 2019 dip 18% YoY: MIIT 

SHANGHAI, Mar 15 (SMM) – China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Ministry of Natural Resources released on Friday March 15 the first batch of quotas for rare earth exploration, separation, smelting for 2019. The limits for rare earth exploration stood at 60,000 mt, and limits for separation and smelting at 57,500 mt, down 13,500 mt and 12,500 mt, respectively, from the same batch last year.  Quotas in the first batch dropped 18% from the same batch in 2018. The authorities will release the second batch of limits for 2019 by the end of June. Rare earth separators, smelters adopting outdated techniques and with annual capacity below 2,000 mt of rare earth oxide were required to suspend or undertake rectification, according to the release.  In 2018, China's overall limits for rare earth exploration came in at 120,000 mt, and limits for separation and smelting at 115,000 mt. 

China public, private charging points grow 76.8% YoY as of Feb

SHANGHAI, Mar 13 (SMM) – At the end of February, China had 866,000 public and private charging points, up 76.8% from February 2018, showed data by the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance on Monday March 11. In February, those charging points provided some 312 million kWh of electricity to electric vehicles. 


China to cut manufacturing VAT by 3 percentage points

SHANGHAI, Mar 5 (SMM) – China will cut the value-added tax (VAT) for the manufacturing sector by 3 percentage points, Premier Li Keqiang said in the government work report at the annual National People's Congress on Tuesday March 5. This will lower VAT from 16% to 13%. The VAT for transport and construction will also be cut from 10% to 9%.

Report: China’s exports of rare earth shrink 3.5% YoY in Jan

SHANGHAI, Feb 19 (SMM) – China’s exports of rare earths stood at 3,752.9 mt in January, down 3.5% from 3,889.7 mt in January 2018, showed the latest data from China Customs. Exports of rare earths were 5,421 mt in December 2018. Prices of rare earth products held stable last week, with higher prices of dysprosium oxide, SMM research found. Rare earth trades in China were poor in the first week after CNY as firms had not returned and as shipping services had not fully recovered. Optimism about prices of dysprosium products bolstered buying interest, promoting sellers to raise offers, but with limited transactions. Trades of rare earth products are expected to improve this week, while prices would likely remain steady.


Report: Installed capacity of power batteries in Jan rises 281% YoY

SHANGHAI, Feb 13 (SMM) – China's installed capacity of power batteries in January gained 281% year on year and stood at 4.98 GWh, showed the latest industrial data on The increase was mostly attributed to new energy passenger vehicles, whose installed capacity of power batteries in January jumped 411% on the year, to 3.53 GWh. Installed capacity of power batteries in electric buses registered 1.24 GWh, up 171% on the year, while that in special vehicles increased 32% year on year, to 0.21GWh.

Report: Hainan's 1st NEV battery swap station begins operation  

SHANGHAI, Jan 31 (SMM) – Hainan province's first battery swap station for new energy vehicles (NEVs) began operations at the Fengmu service zone of Hainan central highway, according to a news release by the Hainan government on Wednesday January 30. The battery swap station allows an NEV to replace fully charged batteries within three minutes. Including maintenance, the process will not exceed 10 minutes.  The station was co-constructed by Hainan Province Transport Investment Holding and the Shanghai-based NEV startup NIO. They also plan to build more battery swap stations along the Hainan island highway and in the province’s major city Sanya in the near future. NIO is building a network of battery swap stations across China.

Report: Tesla begins construction on factory in Shanghai 

SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (SMM) – Construction of Tesla's new manufacturing plant commenced in Shanghai's Lingang industrial zone on Monday January 7. This is the largest foreign-invested manufacturing project in the city, the Shanghai government said in a statement on the same day. The electric carmaker aims to produce 250,000 pure electric cars per year in the first phase. Annual capacity will expand to 500,000 units upon full production. Phase one will be completed this summer and production of its lowest-cost model, the Model 3, will start by the end of the year, according to Tesla's CEO Elon Musk. 


Report: China’s NEV production up 51% in 2018

SHANGHAI, Jan 29 (SMM) - China produced 1.22 million new energy vehicles in 2018, up 50.7% from 2017, information provider Gasgoo reported from data by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Of that, passenger vehicles accounted for 994,000 units, up 80.7% year on year. In December, production of NEVs came in at 226,000 units, up 16% year on year and 17.7% month on month. Installed capacity of motive batteries in NEVs totaled 13.6 GWh in December, standing 15.4% higher than December 2017. This monthly figure marked an all-time high. Total installed motive battery capacity for the Chinese NEV market jumped 57% from 2017 to stand at 57.35 GWh in 2018, and 32.86 GWh, or 57.3% of that was for passenger vehicles, soaring 137% from a year earlier.

China's 1st battery energy storage demonstration project approved in Gansu

SHANGHAI, Dec 26 (SMM) – China's first battery energy storage demonstration project received approval for construction in Gansu province, according to a notice issued by National Energy Administration on Monday December 24. Located in the cities of Jiuquan, Jiayuguan, Weiwu, and Zhangye, the project is designed with 720 MWH for the first phase. Phase-one construction, with investment of 1.2 billion yuan, will complete in 2019. Upon completion, the Gansu station will become the largest commercial energy storage virtual power plant in China, SMM learned. 

Jan-Oct lithium-ion batteries' installed capacity up 90.15% YoY 

SHANGHAI, Dec 12 (SMM) – Installed capacity of lithium-ion batteries during January-October totalled 35.64 GWh, up 90.15% on the year. The increase was mostly attributed to electric passenger vehicles, whose year-to-date installed capacity through October accounted for 55.7% of the total share.Installed capacity of electric buses ranked second and stood at 10.01 GWh, accounting for 28.1% and up 90.55% on the year. Plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles registered the fastest growth, with installed capacity up 127.66% from January-October in 2017. Plug-in hybrid electric buses and the electric special vehicles sector shrank. Plug-in hybrid electric passenger vehicles and electric special vehicles had installed capacity of 2.69 GWh and 2.87 GWh, respectively, and accounted for 7.5% and 8.1%.  

NEV market to expand lithium-ion battery production by 23%

SHANGHAI, Dec 6 (SMM) – Power battery demand from China's expanding new-energy vehicle (NEV) market is likely to grow domestic production of lithium-ion batteries by 22.86% from 2017, to 12.1 billion units this year, showed data by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). China produced more than 10 billion lithium-ion batteries in 2017, up 27.81% on the year. In 2014, output stood at 5,287 million, and accounted for 71.2% of the global production that year. While growth in demand from the smartphone sector will slow, China’s rapidly-expanding NEV market will underpin the development of lithium-ion batteries. Separately, the MIIT will organize a technical committee for the standardization of lithium-ion batteries and other similar products, according to a notice issued on MIIT website on December 5.

Shenyang eyes 300,000 of NEV capacity by 2020

SHANGHAI, Dec 4 (SMM) – Shenyang in China's northeastern province of Liaoning aims to expand its capacity of new-energy vehicles (NEVs) to 300,000 units by 2020, according to an action plan on NEVs released by the local government on November 25. By 2020, the city also plans to put 20,000 NEVs into use, as well as to build 200 charging stations and 21,000 charging points. Production of NEVs is set to reach 100,000 units in 2020, according to the action plan. To promote NEVs, the Shenyang government will provide local subsidies, at 50% of state subsidies, for NEVs that meet certain standards. This is effective from the date of release on November 25, to the end of 2020. 

Report: Dutch battery company Lithium Werks to build plant in China

Dutch energy storage and battery company Lithium Werks and the government of Jiashan county of Zhejiang province on December 1 held the signing ceremony for a battery factory project that was agreed on during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to the Netherlands in October. Lithium Werks will invest 1.6 billion euros to build a 60-hectare factory that will produce 8 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of batteries per year. Construction is expected to start in the first half of next year and the factory is expected to be commissioned at the beginning of 2021.

Report: Guanghua Sci-Tech to work with Golden Dragon Bus to recycle batteries Source:SMM  

Guangdong Guanghua Sci-tech (JHD) on Monday November 19 inked a deal with Golden Dragon Bus, a Nanjing-based bus manufacturer, to recycle batteries.

Under the agreement, Golden Dragon will send waste battery cores and modules as well as retired batteries that meet recycling standards to Guanghua, Guanghua said in a statement. The two parties will also establish a recycling network for power battery scrap to ensure orderly reprocessing and disposal.

Guanghua has expanded the market for retired power battery recycling. On November 12,  it signed a similar agreement with Penglong Automobile Services and Trade, a sales unit of automobile giant Beijing Automotive Industry Holding (BAIC Group).

Report: China commissions its first solid-state battery production line

A Chinese startup commissioned a production line of solid-state batteries in the city of Kunshan, in east China's Jiangsu province, on Monday November 19, Xinhuanet.comreported on Tuesday November 20. Solid-state batteries are thought to be a lot safer than common lithium-ion cells and have more potential for higher energy density. Called Qing Tao Energy Development Co, the startup is led by Nan Cewen, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a professor at Tsinghua University has deployed the first solid-state battery production line in the country. With total investment of 1 billion yuan, the production line is said to be capable of producing 0.1 GWh solid-state batteries per year, which have an energy density of over 400 Wh/kg. The company said that it has engaged with a number of large automobile manufacturers to produce batteries for electric vehicles by 2020, when the company's annual production capacity is expected to reach 0.7 GWh.

Report: WM Motor launches EV power battery project in Sichuan

Construction of a 15-GWh electric vehicle (EV) power battery project, named the Sichuan Semia Battery Technology, began in Mianyang city of Sichuan province on Monday November 19, Santainews reported. Chinese electric mobility startup WM Motor is the major investor in this project. With total investment of 16.6 billion yuan, this project will supply power batteries for 300,000 EVs per year and will help the manufacturer expand its new-energy vehicle products.

Installed capacity of power batteries up 83% in Oct  

SHANGHAI, Nov 20 (SMM) – Total installed capacity of lithium-ion power battery in China rose 2% month on month to 6.1 GWh in October, 82.9% higher than October 2017, according to data by Chinese lithium battery research institution RealLi Research. For electric vehicles (EVs), installed capacity of passenger vehicles' batteries reached 1.3 GWh in October with a year-over-year increase of 40.32% while installed capacity of speciality vehicles fell 20.27% on a yearly basis to 604.9MWh. For plug-in-electric vehicles (PHEVs), installed capacity of passenger vehicles' batteries amounted to 4.6MWh in October and that of speciality vehicle batteries soared 159.46% from a year ago to 428.6MWh.

Lithium-ion battery output up 11.6% YoY in Oct

SHANGHAI, Nov 16 (SMM) – China's lithium-ion battery output increased by 11.6% from a year ago to stand at 1.14 billion units in October, showed data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).On a month-on-month basis, October’s output decreased by 79.02 million units.In January-October, China produced 11.39 billion lithium-ion batteries, up 11% from the same period last year.


Higher VAT rebate for rare earth magnet exports on Nov 1 

SHANGHAI, Nov 1 (SMM) – Exports of China's rare earth permanent magnet products (HS code 85051110) will see a higher value-added tax (VAT) rebate rate of 16% from November 1, according to a notice released on the website of State Administration of Taxation on October 27. The plan was initially put forward at a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on October 8. Effective from November 1, the tax rebate will be raised to 16% for exports that currently receive a rebate of 15% or 13%. The rebate will be raised to 10% for exports that currently receive a 9% rebate, though the rebate will be raised to 13% for some. For exports currently receiving a 5% rebate, the rate will be raised to 6%, with some to 10%. The policy will also benefit the domestic aluminium industry

Jiangsu eyes 150,000 more NEVs by 2020 

SHANGHAI, Oct 29 (SMM) – Jiangsu province aims to put 150,000 new-energy vehicles (NEVs) into use during 2018-2020, according to a three-year Blue Skies initiative released by the provincial government on September 30. The utilization of NEVs will cover 80% of the areas including environmental sanitation, postal delivery, ground transportation, and logistics by the end of 2020 in Jiangsu, the government vowed. By the end of 2019, electric buses and other types of clean energy buses will be introduced across Xuzhou and all Jiangsu cities along the Yangtze River, according to the initiative. In the next three years, the province will maintain support for NEVs tax reduction policies, by exempting vehicle purchase tax for certain types of NEVs. NEV production in Jiangsu benefitted from nationwide initiatives and increased 327.1% year on year in January-June, to stand at 41,500 units, and sales surged 621.3% on the year to 43,700 units, showed data from Jiangsu Provincial Commission of Economy and Information Technology. In January-June, NEVs output in Jiangsu accounted for 4.4% of the province’s overall vehicles output, up 3.4 percentage points on the year. 

Central authorities begin 2nd round of environmental reviews 

SHANGHAI, Oct 29 (SMM) – China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) said on Monday October 29 that it will begin the second round of environmental reviews soon.Five inspection teams will settle in Shanxi, Liaoning, Jilin, Anhui, Shandong, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Shaanxi provinces to supervise local environmental conditions and review the implementation of rectification plans that were made during previous environmental checks. The MEE did not provide details on the start date and duration of this new round of probes. The first round of environmental reviews lasted for about a month in June and covered Hebei, Henan, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, Heilongjiang, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Guangdong, Guangxi and Yunnan provinces

Improving the quality of industrial raw materials 

SHANGHAI, Oct 26 (SMM) – A three-year plan to improve the quality of industrial raw materials to meet international standards will raise the quality of more than half of China's steel products by 2020.The plan from 2018-2020 was jointly issued by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Commerce, and State Administration for Market Regulation. It was published on the MIIT website on Thursday October 25. The regulation targets steel, non-ferrous metals, petrochemicals, and building materials. In the non-ferrous sector, the plan highlighted that quality of raw materials should be significantly improved across ships, rail transport, and new-energy vehicles. 

Report: Johnson Controls introduces new battery in China 

SHANGHAI, Oct 15 (SMM) – In a product launch with local battery company Yingzhifu in Chongqing, global automotive battery producer Johnson Controls introduced its internationally-recognised Power Connection battery to China on October 10. This followed after Johnson introduced the Varta battery to the Chinese market a year ago. Operation of the Power Connection brand will be handed over to Yingzhifu Battery after the launch. Johnson opened its Asia Pacific headquarters in Shanghai in June 2017.

Construction begins on LG-Chem's battery project in Nanjing

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (SMM) – Construction of an LG Chem-invested power battery project in the Binjiang development zone of Nanjing, Jiangsu province started on Tuesday October 23. 

The project, signed in July and with investment of $2 billion, will focus on researching, developing and producing power batteries, energy storage batteries, and small batteries. The first phase is likely to enter production in the fourth quarter next year. Annual sales are expected to reach 35 billion yuan when the entire plant is ready. South Korean company LG is the first Fortune Global 500 enterprise to settle in the development zone, SMM learned. 

Henan starts provincial environmental checks Oct-Nov

SHANGHAI, Oct 24 (SMM) – Nine provincial inspection teams in Henan province will visit 18 cities from October 23 to the end of November, to conduct check of their previous environmental rectification works, provincial authorities announced on Tuesday October 23.
This move is in line with the fight against upcoming winter smog, as well as to address feedback from the central government in the first round of environmental reviews from June to July. 

Inspections will be conducted across two sessions. The first session started on October 23, covering the cities of Kaifeng, Luohe, Zhumadian, Zhoukou, Xinyang, Nanyang, Luoyang, Sanmenxia, and Jiaozuo. The second session will begin at the start of November and cover the other nine cities, Pingdingshan, Xuchang, Zhengzhou, Shangqiu, Anyang, Puyang, Xinxiang, Hebi, and Jiyuan. 

Yunnan authorities rebuked for pollution

Industry News 03:31:45PM Oct 22, 2018  

SHANGHAI, Oct 22 (SMM) – In south-west Yunnan province, only 15 out of 173 smelting and rolling mills in the non-ferrous metals sector were assessed to be qualified producers, disclosed the central environmental inspection team on Monday October 22.  This was part of the team's feedback to provincial authorities in the first round of province-wide environmental reviews from June 5 to July 5. The team also highlighted that Yunnan faced significant metal contamination issues, and admonished local authorities for their slow and inadequate response to pollution across the non-ferrous metal sector. 

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