The Register reports China is losing its capacity over the rare earth mineral market as production capacity is coming online in other parts of the world. The website points out that until recently, China supplied 97 percent of the world's rare earths, but this is poised to change soon, and the country will not be able to keep its monopoly.
The proof of the failure comes in these two snippets:
Lanthanum oxide, a rare earth used to refine gasoline, has dropped 53 per cent this year, according to Shanghai Steelhome Information data. Cerium oxide, used in glass polishing, has declined 56 per cent and neodymium oxide, used in magnets, has fallen 46 per cent, the data show.
Hmm, why's that then?
"We remain very concerned about what will happen as new supplies from Molycorp and Lynas totaling 57k tonnes hit up against a ROW (rest of the world) demand estimated at 40k tonnes in 2011 ...," JP Morgan analyst Michael Gambardella said in a note to clients.