The Ocean Floor.
The basis trade.
1. The ocean floor is shaping up to be the world’s next theater of global resource competition — and China is set to dominate it. The sea is believed to hold several times what land does of rare earth metals, which are critical for almost all of today’s electronics, clean-energy products and advanced computer chips. As countries race to cut greenhouse gas emissions, demand for these minerals is expected to skyrocket. When deep-sea mining begins, China — which already controls 95 percent of the world’s supply of rare-earth metals and produces three-quarters of all lithium-ion batteries — will extend its chokehold over emerging industries like clean energy. Mining will also give Beijing a potent new tool in its escalating rivalry with the United States. As a sign of how these resources could be weaponized, China in August started restricting exports of two metals that are key to U.S. defense systems. Read the rest. (Source: washingtonpost.com)
2. China has imposed export controls on graphite, a material used in electric-vehicle batteries, as Beijing hits back at US-led restrictions on technology sales to Chinese companies. China, which dominates global supply chains for the mineral, will require special export permits for three grades of graphite, the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs said on Friday. The new export controls, which China said were introduced on “national security” grounds, are set to escalate geopolitical tension between Beijing and Washington over tech supply chains. They also underline China’s dominance of global supplies of dozens of critical resources. China is the leading producer of graphite, accounting for about 65 per cent of supplies in 2022, according to the US Geological Survey’s 2023 annual report on the mineral. (Source: ft.com)