China Daily Mail

China has already started the purchase – using state funds – and storage of rare earths for strategic reserves, the China Securities Journal said, but did not say exactly when the initiative was launched.

The country produces more than 90pc of the world’s rare earths, which are used in hi-tech equipment ranging from iPods to missiles, and it has set production caps and export quotas on them.

Major trading partners last month asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) to form a panel to resolve a dispute over China’s export limits on rare earths after earlier consultations through the global trade body failed.

The European Union, the US and Japan claim China is unfairly choking off exports of the commodities to benefit domestic industries.

The newspaper said current low prices for rare earths had prompted the start of strategic buying and the reserves could be used to address future shortfalls…

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