China summoned some key rare earths companies amid continuously-rising product prices and urged them to ensure a steady supply chain to help cool prices, the regulator said on Friday.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement that it had instructed producers including China Rare Earth Group, China Northern Rare Earth Group and Shenghe Resources to regulate their operation and trading, and to prevent any market speculation or hoarding.
The authority also urged the companies to take a lead in promoting a pricing mechanism for rare earths products and jointly bring prices back to a reasonable range, it said.
Prices of rare earths, a group of 17 minerals used in electric vehicles (EVs) and military equipment, have surged since the second half of 2021 amid concerns of supply uncertainty from Myanmar and strong demand.
The Chinese price of praseodymium-neodymium alloy used to make super strong magnets for EV motors has powered 32% so far this year to 1.38 million yuan ($218,395.90) per tonne.
A price index issued by the Association of China Rare Earth Industry stood at 429.4 on Friday, hovering around its record highs.
($1 = 6.3188 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(By Min Zhang, Beijing Newsroom and Dominique Patton; Editing by John Stonestreet and Elaine Hardcastle)