Chinese trading platform for rare earth completes first week of operations amid WTO dispute

After a three-month trial, China’s first rare earths exchange began trading this week with the No.1 producer of the elements trying to expand the role of the free market at home amid international disapproval of its restraining exports policy.

Under the name of Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange, the platform based in Inner Mongolia province will trade of europium oxide, praseodymium-neodymium oxide and cerium oxide in a first phase, but it may eventually extend the offer to any of the other 17 chemically similar elements.

“The exchange will introduce three spot transaction modes, namely price bidding, listed trading and real-time trading online, with more than 10 trading items including cerium oxide, praseodymium neodymium oxide and europium oxide,” said in a statement the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official

China's rare earth industry is responsible for almost 90% of global output, but the nation has been imposed strict export quotas since 2010, hoping to curb illegal mining and cut environmental damage.