China’s exports of natural graphite slump as Beijing tightens control over mineral supply

China’s exports of natural graphite, a material used in electric vehicle batteries, plummeted in December after Beijing imposed controls at the start of the month, tightening its grip on the supply of minerals vital to advanced manufacturing.

Overseas sales plunged 91% month-on-month to 3,973 tons, according to Chinese customs data, after a rush to buy ahead of the deadline saw them surge to more than 45,000 tons in November. Exports had averaged about 17,000 tons a month in the year through October.

The export restrictions are generally viewed as Beijing’s response to trade barriers raised on Chinese products by Western nations. They apply to materials deemed highly sensitive as so-called dual-use items, a reference to military applications. The curbs were announced just days after the US stepped up efforts to keep advanced semiconductor chips out of China.

Tirupati Graphite PLC (LON:TGR) is a fully integrated specialist graphite and graphene producer, with operations in Madagascar and India. The Company is delivering on this strategy by being fully integrated from mine to graphene. Its global multi-location operations include primary mining and processing in Madagascar, hi-tech graphite processing in India to produce specialty graphite, and a state-of-art graphene and technology R&D center to be established in India. 

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