China to Remove Taxes on Rare Earths

The dynamics of rare earths supply are changing again, according to a new report from Roskill. On January 21, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce announced that it will remove taxes on export sales of rare earths on May 2. The announcement follows the news at the end of last year that rare earths exports would instead be subject to an export licensing regime. China was widely expected to abolish the quota system and taxes following a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling in March 2014 that the tariff and quota system was discriminatory and gave unfair advantage to domestic consumers. Rare earth exports were subject to 15% or 25% tariffs in 2014.

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Silver Demand for Industrial Applications Continues to Grow

Total silver industrial demand is forecast to grow 27%, adding an additional 142 million oz of silver demand through 2018 compared with 2013 levels, according to a new report issued recently by the Silver Institute. Half of this growth will be accounted for by the electrical and electronics sector, but additional demand will be due to growth in other industrial applications, as highlighted in the report entitled, Glistening Particles of Industrial Silver.

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Copper Market Moves Into Deficit

The International Copper Study Group (ICSG) released preliminary data for August 2014 world copper supply and demand in its November 2014 Copper Bulletin. According to preliminary ICSG data, the refined copper market balance for the first eight months of 2014 indicated a production deficit of 544,000 metric tons (mt). This compares with a production surplus of 42,000 mt in the same period of 2013.

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Exploration Spending Drops 25%

MarketsCompiling data for its 25th edition of the Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) study, SNL Mining & Metals estimated worldwide total budget for nonferrous metals exploration dropped to $11.36 billion in 2014 from $15.19 billion in 2013—a 25% decrease.

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