China has called on its key rare earths companies to help cool the critical market amid rising product prices and supply chain issues.
State regulator The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement on Friday that it had instructed producers – including China Rare Earth Group, China Northern Rare Earth Group and Shenghe Resources – to regulate their operations and trading, and to prevent any market speculation or hoarding.
The authority also urged the companies to take a lead in promoting a pricing mechanism for rare earths products and jointly bring prices back to a reasonable range, it said.
Prices of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used in electric vehicles (EVs) and military equipment, have surged since the second half of 2021 amid concerns of supply uncertainty from Myanmar and strong demand.
The Chinese price of praseodymium-neodymium alloy used to make super strong magnets for EV motors has risen 32% so far this year to 1.38 million yuan ($218,395.90) per tonne.
A price index issued by the Association of China Rare Earth Industry stood at 429.4 on Friday, hovering around its record highs.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara