Why United States Concerned China Restricting Exports of Rare Earth Magnets?

Recently, foreign media reported that the United States intends to increase the production of rare earth magnets for military weapons through the development and purchase of equipment, and is also looking for better ways to purchase. Why is this happening in the United States? The analysis of foreign experts mainly has the following six reasons:

First, rare earth magnets are essential materials for the manufacture of many military weapons. There has been a research report that at least 36 weapons in the United States use rare earth high-energy magnets imported from China, including the F-35 "Lightning II" fighter, the F-22 Raptor, the DDG-51 destroyer, and Bly. Deli" armored vehicles and AIM-9X "Rattlesnake" missiles and so on. This means that if the United States does not have enough stock of rare earth magnets, defense will be affected.

AIM-9X Rattlesnake missiles

Second, at present, the consumption of rare earths including rare earth magnets in the United States is highly dependent on China. More than 90% of the world's rare earth permanent magnets supply comes from China, and the United States also needs to import nearly 70% of rare earth magnets from China. For example, a Citigroup report showed that China’s magnet exports totaled $1.7 billion last year, of which $257 million out of US imports totaled $395 million.

Third, the United States does not have enough capacity to manufacture rare earth permanent magnets. For example, a rare earth permanent magnet that can be used to manufacture precision guided missiles, smart bombs, and military aircraft - high temperature, corrosion resistant samarium cobalt rare earth permanent magnets. But China has.

Fourth, China's rare earth processing capacity = 5 times the amount of rare earth processing capacity added in other parts of the world. This means that it will take at least a few years to build a processing plant that is comparable to China's rare earth capacity. Although Japan and Germany are the main magnet factories outside China, the two countries also rely on imports of rare earths from China. Citigroup analysts also pointed out that although there are rare earth mines outside China, processing cannot be separated from China. Of the 50,000 tons of rare earth mines outside China, there are about 41,400 tons associated with China. For some specific rare earth elements, this ratio is even greater. For example, at present, there is no considerable separation capacity outside China to separate the heavy rare earth element lanthanum used to produce magnets.

Rare earth aerial image

Fifth, MP Materials, the only rare earth company in the United States, has a Chinese background. A-share listed company Shenghe Resources is a shareholder of MP materials with a shareholding ratio of 9.99%. The point is that even rare earth materials excavated by MP Materials from the mine in California will be sent to China for processing.

Sixth, there are reasons for worry. Based on the above points, the life of the rare earth magnet is not in its own hands. The United States is worried that if China restricts the export of rare earth magnets, some special industries in the United States may fall into the predicament of supply disruption.

In fact, this statement is inappropriate for "China restricts the export of rare earth magnets." Last year, the United States also banned its DoD from buying rare earth magnets from China! Fortunately, the impact on China's rare earth industry is limited. Why, this year's style of painting has changed suddenly! In this regard, this year, we are still generously said: As the world's largest supplier of rare earth materials, China has always adhered to the principle of openness, synergy and sharing to promote the development of the rare earth industry. On the basis of serving domestic needs, we are willing to meet the legitimate needs of countries around the world for rare earth resources. However, if any country wants to use the products made by China's exported rare earths to curb the development of China, it is unacceptable.

Rare earth image



Tungsten Metal

Tungsten Metal Price

Tungsten Alloy

Tungsten Alloy Price

Tungsten Carbide

Tungsten Carbide Price

Tungsten Powder

Tungsten Powder Price

Tungsten Copper

Tungsten Copper Price

Tungsten Oxide

Tungsten Oxide Price