Since 2012, rare earth prices have fallen back to normal levels. But as trade tensions rise between the U.S. and China, rare earth minerals are once again in the political spotlight.
The U.S. government lists rare earth among minerals deemed critical to the country’s economic and national security, and the Trump administration notably exempted rare earth elements from tariffs it imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.
On the other side of the trade conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping has recently visited Jiangxi Province, which is the central hub of China’s heavy rare earth raw materials.
Many reports have speculated that China may be planning to weaponize the rare-earth industry to make the US back down in the ongoing trade war.
The US relies heavily on Chinese exports of rare-earth materials, which can be found in products ranging from batteries to smartphones, Teslas, and fighter jets.
After his visit, the price of PrNd and DyFe material shot up. As we mentioned earlier, neodymium magnet is also made of rare earth metal. So, rare earth magnet price followed closely and increased.