US-China rapprochement does little for mineral, minor metals markets [UPDATED]

A preliminary trade agreement between the United States and China has done little to change the outlook for industrial minerals and minor metals, with no sign of a reversal for tariffs on Chinese material and no firm commitments on Chinese purchases.

The US has agreed to pause new tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for China signing a deal containing a number of commitments, including $200 billion of new imports from the US.
The list of materials covered by this deal includes a number of minor metals and rare earths.
Media reports that China has agreed to buy specifically yttrium and lanthanum seem based on a misunderstanding of the way exports are classified by the World Customs Organization.

Alongside a wide list of other materials, the trade agreement covers all goods exported under customs codes 2846, which includes all rare earth compounds, and 2805, which includes all rare earth metals, as well as mercury, beryllium, magnesium, calcium, strontium, barium...

Published

William Clarke

Cristina Belda

January 16, 2020

17:11 GMT

London