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China’s Rare Earth Exports Fall to Over Five-Year Low as Pandemic Devastates Demand

Rare earths, a collection of chemical elements, have broad applications and are crucial to many cutting-edge products, including phone components, electric-vehicle batteries and military equipment.

China’s rare earth exports plunged 69.1% year-on-year to 1,620 tons in July, customs data showed (link in Chinese), marking the lowest monthly volume since January 2015, as the coronavirus pandemic has heavily hit demand for the minerals.

In the first seven months of this year, China’s rare earth exports were down 20.2% year-on-year, compared to a much milder 7.6% decline in the same period last year, customs data showed.

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