China to raise rare earth export tariffs in 2011

BEIJING (BestGrowthStock) – China plans to raise export taxes on some rare earths in its annual adjustment of import and export taxes that takes effect on Jan 1, the Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.

China will keep low import tariffs on 600 important materials and components while continuing to tax exports of energy-intensive commodities such as coal, crude oil, fertilizer and nonferrous metals, the Ministry said in a statement on its website.

It did not give details of the specific tax changes.

China controls 97 percent of currently available global rare earth supplies, which are used in a variety of clean energy and high-tech industry technologies.

Its dominance has prompted growing anxieties after evidence the government has curbed shipments, possibly out of political pique or because sharply reduced export quotas are petering out.

But diplomatic mutterings from both Chinese and EU officials have indicated that China could be open to discussions on the issue.

The United States is expected to press China to loosen export restraints on rare earth minerals during U.S.-China trade talks in Washington on Tuesday and Wednesday.

(Reporting by Tom Miles and Michael Martina, editing by Andrew Marshall)

China to raise rare earth export tariffs in 2011