SHANGHAI, Dec 17 (SMM) - China's rare earth exports continued to grow from 2016 to 2018, but the growth slowed year by year. And it finally unlocked the downward trajectory since 2019. The exports of rare earth came in at 46,300 mt in 2019, down 12.64% from the previous year. The exports dropped significantly in 2020 as the global downstream manufacturing industry contracted on the back of COVID-19 pandemic.
China's exports of rare earth continued to grow since the beginning of this year. The latest data released by the General Administration of Customs shows that China exported 4,859.2 mt of rare earth in November, with a cumulative annual export volume of 44,926 mt, a year-on-year increase of 43.6%.
The overall export volume of rare earth this year increased significantly when compared with 2020. In 2020, the export volume of rare earth decreased significantly year-on-year, and the reduction was concentrated in the overseas summer holiday period in the third quarter. Under the interference of the COVID pandemic, overseas market demand continued to be sluggish. The overseas pandemic situation improved in the first three quarters in 2021, and China's rare earth export market also recovered. Nonetheless, the third quarter is still the seasonal low for rare earth exports. China’s rare earth exports in the third quarter decreased 0.9% from 11,921 mt in the second quarter to 11,811 mt, up about 124% from 5,265.2 mt in the same period last year.
The export structure of the rare earth products has changed, and the export volume of rare earth permanent magnet products has risen sharply.
China exported 35,265 mt of rare earth permanent magnets in 2019, a year-on-year increase of 7.9%. In 2020, the exports of rare earth permanent magnets totalled 35,981 mt, a year-on-year increase of 2%. The exports recoded 40,078 mt in the first ten months of 2021, a year-on-year increase of 39.3%, far exceeding the level in the same period last year.