China is reported to be preparing a ban on the export of technology needed to process and magnetise rare earth metals. Rare earths metals have uses in advanced technology such as high-performance magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbine motors.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce proposed changes to its ‘Catalogue of Technologies Prohibited and Restricted from Export’ last year and published these for comment in December. Press Release.
The OECD this week published a policy paper on ‘Raw Materials for the Green Transition: Production, International Trade and Export Restrictions’. Press Release. It says that:
- OECD countries have a greater import dependency on non-OECD countries for critical raw materials (including rare earth elements) than for products in general;
- the global incidence of export restrictions on critical raw materials increased to 13,000 in December 2020, a five-fold increase from January 2009;
- China, India, Argentina, Russia, Vietnam and Kazakhstan were the top 6 countries in introducing export restrictions on critical minerals over the period of 2009 to 2020 – in this time, China increased the number of its export restrictions by a factor of 9; and
- in both 2009 and 2020, China, India, Russia, Argentina and the DRC had the highest incidence of export restrictions – in 2020, China had the most export restrictions internationally.
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