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China's rare-earths exchange feeding price spikes

TOKYO -- In 2010, China squeezed Japan's supplies of rare-earth metals in the wake of a dispute over a collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Japanese coast guard ship in September of that year. The incident took place off the Senkaku Islands, which Japan controls but China claims as its own.

     The move by Beijing sent prices for some rare earths soaring, heightening fears of a shortage among Japanese magnet and metal producers. Four years later, China's shipments to Japan have returned to normal and global prices have largely stabilized.

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