China graphite exports – level 3
China has announced that it will require export permits for certain graphite products to safeguard national security interests.
This surprising move is seen as another effort to maintain control over critical mineral supplies amid concerns about its global manufacturing dominance. China is the world’s leading producer and exporter of graphite, responsible for refining over 90% of the world’s graphite used in electric vehicle (EV) battery anodes, which are crucial components of battery systems. The timing of these export permits aligns with increased international pressure on Chinese companies due to concerns about their industrial practices. For instance, the European Union is considering tariffs on Chinese-made EVs, arguing they benefit unfairly from subsidies, and the US government has recently expanded restrictions on Chinese companies’ access to semiconductors, including advanced artificial intelligence chips from Nvidia.
This development coincides with US President Joe Biden’s discussions on critical minerals in Washington with EU officials.
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How do other nations plan to counter China's move to increase control of its graphite exports?
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