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Key chipmaking material prices soar ahead of Chinese export curbs

U.S., European gallium benchmarks up nearly 20% amid supply concerns

China will begin requiring permits in August for exports of gallium and germanium, which are both used in semiconductor production.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Gallium prices are surging after China said it would start requiring permits to export the key metal and other chipmaking materials in August, signaling a potentially significant impact on the industry.

The benchmark price for gallium in the U.S. and European markets reached $332.50 per kilogram on July 20, according to U.K.-based Argus Media -- up 18% from the end of June, before China made its announcement on July 3.

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