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[DT] China Cuts Off World's Rare Earth Metal Supply

post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=23069

Quote:
China only has about 30 percent of the world's rare earth metal deposits, but thanks to clever planning it today controls 97 percent of the world's production of these scarce resources. Deposits of this family of 17 elements -- vital to power electronics found in televisions, smart phones, electric vehicles, and a variety of other devices -- are found in California, Canada, Australia, and Russia, but it will take years to bring them online.

In short the world is at China's mercy for now when it comes to rare earth supply. And China's biggest rare earth metal producer -- the Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth (Group) has announced that it is severing shipments to the U.S., Japan, and Europe for one month in an attempt to artificially inflate prices.
Hopefully this short-term blip does not affect prices too much. The bigger concern is that companies realize how dependent they are and prices increases due to risk.
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post #2 of 102
Good I say...now some other countries might step up and actually start using their own supplies and keep some moore money in their own economies.

But now...I got some newegg orders to make before prices go up...
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post #3 of 102
It starts...

Good job I don't need to update my rig for a while!

The other way of looking at it is that if the prices increase then sourcing the materials in "California, Canada, Australia, and Russia" will become more cost effective. Of course that will take years to bring to market as the article suggests, and during that time the price will be at the mercy of the Chinese companies.

Imagine the havok they could wreak if they kept the prices high whilst the other mining companies go through the invesments and started production, then flooded the market and lowered the prices.

Monopolies are bad.
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post #4 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=23069



Hopefully this short-term blip does not affect prices too much. The bigger concern is that companies realize how dependent they are and prices increases due to risk.
Damn, no futures for any of them.
    
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post #5 of 102
So is this why there is an HD "shortage" and price increase?

Some articles on WD say that the issue was not preparing for demand, but this seems like it is linked.
    
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post #6 of 102
Sigh, I remember reading about this about 6 years ago, and like the rest of humanity tucked that scary little tidbit away and completly ignored it, till now. Thanks Duckie, I'm thinking of ways to extract cerium from my old mobile phone in an effort to stave off the coming electronic apocalypse.

I hope you can sleep tonight... /kidding... but only kind of.
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post #7 of 102
Just in "time for the holiday season". Tired of these greedy bastards in today's world.
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post #8 of 102
Good for them. We're already working on starting up production in California again so they won't have complete control for much longer.
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post #9 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by _02 View Post
So is this why there is an HD "shortage" and price increase?

Some articles on WD say that the issue was not preparing for demand, but this seems like it is linked.
The HDD shortage is due to the fact that WD has plants in Thailand.... which is being flooded. I believe their are five industrial parks around Bangkok and most of them have been evacuated already.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TehStone View Post
Good for them. We're already working on starting up production in California again so they won't have complete control for much longer.
3-5 years is multiple generations in the electronics industry.
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post #10 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
The HDD shortage is due to the fact that WD has plants in Thailand.... which is being flooded. I believe their are five industrial parks around Bangkok and most of them have been evacuated already.
Yup I think that was it.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...al-operations/
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