China's Customs data showed (August 27) that China’s rare earth exports plunged 69.1% year-on-year to 1,620 tons in July, marking the lowest monthly volume since January 2015, as the coronavirus pandemic heavily hit demand for the minerals. It showed that in the first seven months of this year, China’s rare earth exports were down 20.2% year-on-year, compared with a much milder 7.6% decline in the same period last year. Gao Feng, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Commerce, said (August 27) that production and operation activities of downstream rare earth companies have slowed since the beginning of this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. China remains dominant in rare earth production.

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