Beijing announced today that it will be reducing the global supply of rare earth minerals that the colossal supplier has been exporting mid-2011. The country, which has found itself the subject of much criticism over environmental stewardship and responsibility, cited that environmental concerns are one of the driving forces for cutting back rare earth production and export.
Rare earth minerals are used in practically every high-tech electronic product. They play key roles in batteries, transistors, circuit components, and magnets.
The commerce ministry, a national office in the Chinese government, said Tuesday that it expected to cut the export of rare earths by over 11 percent by the first half of 2011. In addition al environmental concerns, the ministry also cited a need for domestic supply and the requirement for that supply to remain strong and uninterrupted for their burgeoning high-tech production industry. The observant consumer in the West has surely noticed that more and more electronics are being manufactured in mainland China. Thus, the demand for a strong and constant supply of these metals for this industry is an absolute requirement for China to remain in its current upward trajectory in production.