Rare earths help power everything, from consumer electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, to MRI machines, satellites, nuclear reactors, wind turbines, and even advanced military weapons. China is the largest producer of rare earth elements (REE), and its de facto monopoly has long been flagged as a risk for advanced manufacturers in developed nations.
Chinese officials announced that the production quota of 70,000 tons which they had established for the first half of 2018 will be reduced by 36% for the remaining half year period. That allows for just 45,000 tons of rare earths to be produced in 2H 2018, creating structural disruptions that could push prices for the metals higher over the next 6-12 months . . .