The city of Ganzhou, which is the source of around 70 % of the world’s middle and heavy rare earths, suffers from the Corona virus, just like the rest of China. Workers in particular are in short supply – which is particularly important in the personnel-intensive work with rare earths. But the delivery of new raw materials and the onward transport of products such as magnets are also difficult due to the current situation. Production is currently running at about 20 capacity, according to a local manager.
The extent to which reduced production affects the world market will be decided in the next two to four weeks. As long as the warehouses of the local intermediaries are to be enough. However, if it takes longer to get production and logistics infrastructure back on track, the situation could get worse. The continuing simmering conflict with Myanmar (Myanmar halted the export of rare earth concentrates to China in mid-December) creates additional uncertainty.