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4/24/2015 by mdc
Teresa Matich reports that China may be about to eliminate rare earth export tariffs. China Ministry of Finance confirmed plans to eliminate export tariffs on rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum, effective May 1, 2015.

The change follows an announcement earlier this year that China would scrap its export quotas for rare earths and other metals. In 2014, the World Trade Organization ruled that the quotas were inconsistent with China obligations as a WTO member.

According to Shanghai Metals Market, China previously imposed export duties of 15 to 25 per cent on rare-earths products, and the move will serve to increase competition of Chinese rare earth products in global markets. China is responsible for over 90 per cent of the world rare earths production, but since last years WTO ruling, there have been suggestions that the Chinese hold on the market could weaken in the near future as companies outside of China begin to take another crack at the space.

News that export tariffs will be eliminated sparked a surge in Chinese rare earths stocks on Thursday, but rare earths companies elsewhere also saw their share prices rise. Australian Alkane Resources gained 16 per cent, while U.S. Rare Earths was up 11 per cent. Shares of U.S. rare-earths producer Molycorp were up nearly 10 percent.

Still, it is worth noting that China might not be ready to give up its hold on the rare earths market just yet. Last month, the country released its first batch of internal rare earth export quotas, and while numbers are slightly up from last year, analysts have suggested that it is mainly business as usual for production in the country.

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