Effect of Chinese Policies on Rare Earth Supply Chain Resilience



Nabeel A Mancheri, Benjamin Sprecher, Gwendolyn Bailey, Jianping Ge, Arnold Tukker | Resources, Conservation and Recycling

Rare earths elements (REE) are considered as strategic resources because they interact with business and governments’ direct policy interventions. Policy interventions can have a major effect on security of rare earth supply (Kooroshy et al., 2015). The purpose of this study is to scrutinize China’s REE policies and its impacts on the supply chain resilience.

We analyze the supply chain dynamics by specifically targeting a number of Chinese REE policies that have disruptive tendencies. We analyze various policies placing the price at the center as an overarching feedback loop. In other words, we focus on how price responds to various resilience influencing mechanisms such as diversity of supply, regulatory frameworks, and stockpiling.

In the process, we investigate Chinese influence on rest of the world (RoW) supply chain and dynamics inside the Chinese supply chain as there are two different layers of supply chain one for China and another one for rest of the world. We show that the supply chain is a complex phenomenon and resilience of a system is not solely dependent on physical disruptions but also on dynamic factors such as societal and geo-political (eg. environmental regulation, speculative market and export ban). We identify links and interdependencies even where data is not readily available and examine how the overall system reacts to various constraints and disruptions.


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