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China restricts graphite exports

by on23 October 2023

For some reason US politicians did not think about that one

China has unveiled plans to restrict exports of graphite -- a mineral crucial to the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) -- on national security grounds.

The Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs made the announcement comes just days after the United States imposed additional limits on the kinds of semiconductors that American companies can sell to Chinese firms.

China, which dominates the world's production and processing of graphite, says export permits will be needed, starting in December, for synthetic graphite material -- including high-purity, high-strength and high-density versions -- as well as for natural flake graphite.

According to the US Geological Survey (PDF), the market for graphite used in batteries has grown 250 per cent globally since 2018. China was the world's leading graphite producer last year, accounting for an estimated 65 per cent of global production, it said.

Besides EVs, graphite is commonly used in the semiconductor, aerospace, chemical and steel industries. The export curbs were announced as China faces pressure from multiple governments over its commercial and trade practices. For more than a year, it has been embroiled in a tech war with the United States and its allies in Europe and Asia over access to advanced chips and chipmaking equipment.


Last modified on 23 October 2023
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