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China lifts restrictions on molybdenum export

Mu Chen
Updated: Dec 30,2014 5:52 PM

The Ministry of Commerce scraps list of companies allowed to export molybdenum in the coming year, in the latest adjustment to China’s rare metals industry.

On Dec 29, the ministry announced through its website the quotas and approved exporters of rare metals for 2015 but there was no mention of approved exporters of molybdenum, signaling the end of all restrictions on exports of the rare metal.

Earlier in November, 2015 export quotas for molybdenum and tungsten had been canceled by the ministry. However, tungsten exports will still be limited to a list of 13 companies, including China Minmetals Corp and Sinochem Group.

The cancellation of the export quotas of the two metals comes after China lost an appeal at the World Trade Organization in August. The case was brought by the United States, the European Union and Japan in March 2012 over China’s measures on exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum.

Analysts told Shanghai Securities News that the end of restrictions is unlikely to have a big impact on China’s molybdenum industry since international demand for the metal is limited, with only 60-70 percent of this year’s quota being used.

And overall, “the new adjustments won’t have much of an influence on China’s exports of rare metals, but more adjustments might be made in the middle of next year,” said a spokesperson with Minmetals.