BEIJING, Aug 7 – China’s rare earth exports plunged 44% in July from the previous month, customs data showed on Friday, hitting their lowest in 5-1/2 years in a sign that the coronavirus has destroyed demand for the prized group of 17 minerals.
Exports stood at 1,620.3 tonnes last month, the General Administration of Customs said. That was also down 69.1% year-on-year and marked the lowest monthly total based on Reuters records since China shipped 1,457 tonnes overseas in January 2015.
China is the world’s dominant producer of rare earths, which are used in consumer electronics and military equipment. (Reporting by Tom Daly Editing by Shri Navaratnam)