Trade war! Cerium oxide price has risen 665% since April

Phase diagram of cerium in english

Phase diagram cerium: Image via Wikipedia

Freely translated from Dagens Industri

Cerium oxide, which is used to finish semiconductors and obtained from the rare earth element cerium, has risen in price from $ 4.70 per kg on April 20 to 36 U.S. dollars a kilo on Tuesday, October 19. An increase of 665 percent.

The price rise is primarily due to China scaling down its export quotas. In recent years there has been a gradual reduction of 5-10 percent per year, but in July alone it was reduced by 40 percent.  The country accounts for almost 95 percent of world supply of rare earths and in some cases almost 100 percent.

The official explanation from China is that the  country’s own industrial needs must be met first. These account  for 60 percent of global demand. Producing earth metals is a dirty business and China also gives environmental reasons as an explanation for the lower export quotas.

But many, especially in the U.S., suspect that it is a low-key trade war.

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2 Responses to “Trade war! Cerium oxide price has risen 665% since April”

  1. Using cerium oxide to mimic absorption of solar energy by plants « The k2p blog Says:

    […] crust it is one of the “rare earths” and current production is dominated by China.  Cerium oxide, which is used to finish semiconductors and obtained from the rare earth element ceriu… An increase of 665 […]

  2. China and the use of rare earth elements trade as a tool for diplomacy « The k2p blog Says:

    […] but China has only about 36% of the world’s resources. In the last few months the Chinese have created a “crisis” both by throttling exports and by sharp price increases which have alarmed the auto and electronics […]

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