SHANGHAI, May 18 (SMM) – China's rare earth exports in April fell by 22.7% from March to 3,737 mt, a decrease of 13.4% from the 4,317 mt in April 2020.
The Manzhouli Customs in Inner Mongolia announced on May 6 that Inner Mongolia exported 4,579 mt of rare earths in Q1 2021, an increase of 51.5% year on year. According to Manzhouli Customs, the international downstream market demand was strong, especially the rapidly developing European new energy vehicle market. At the same time, the rare earth resources in some countries had been fully mined. Rare earth exports to Japan, US, the Netherlands and France accounted for nearly 90% of China’s total exports in Q1.
Exports declined despite the growing overseas demand mainly due to the shortage of containers. A large amount of goods were shipped to North America in containers amid the pandemic, but few containers were shipped to Asia.
According to the Analysis Report of China’s Export Container Transport Market in April 2021 released by the Shanghai Shipping Exchange, the shipping capacity of export containers remained insufficient in April due to the disordered shipment schedule, the container shortage, and the blockage of the Suez Canal. Data show that the prices of international shipping containers soared by 94% in the past five months.
China exports a large amount of rare earths to Japan every year. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened again in Japan since the end of April, and the emergency state in Tokyo and many regions had been extended until the end of May. Therefore, China's rare earth exports may remain low in May.