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China's first rare earth products exchange opens

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HOHHOT, March 28 (Xinhua) -- China's first rare earth products exchange opened on Friday in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after a three-month trial.

The Baotou Rare Earth Products Exchange is expected to regulate the country's rare earth market, improve the way prices are formed and promote development of the industry, said Jia Yinsong, a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology official.

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.

Located in Baotou City, the exchange was initiated by Baotou Steel Rare Earth (Group) Hi-Tech Co., China's leading rare earth producer, and another 11 firms and institutions with a registered capital of 120 million yuan (19.32 million U. S. dollars).

China is the world's largest rare earth producer and exporter, accounting for more than 90 percent of the world's supply. However, the country lacks pricing power in the global market and wild price swings of resources have had a negative effect on Chinese producers.

The exchange will help integrate resources during their circulation in China and gradually regulate the trading and pricing of them, said Zhang Zhong, general manager of Baotou Steel Rare Earth Hi-Tech Co..

Zhang said the exchange will improve transparency of the market and help China to secure a bigger say in the pricing of rare earth products to stabilize the market.

Rare earth metals are vital for manufacturing high-tech products ranging from smartphones and wind turbines to electric car batteries and missiles.

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